Texas school to implement drug testing even as budgets tighten and district admits it has no drug problem
Fort Stockton ISD is reportedly planning to implement a drug testing policy for the 2014-15 school year for anyone involved in extracurricular activities.
Located along IH-10 in west Texas, the seat of Pecos County has just over 8,000 residents and like many other school districts, it’s battling a tight budget.
School officials say the don’t know what the program will cost yet, but they say it will be part of the district budget according to CBS 7.
While the district says that it doesn’t have a drug problem, they claim it’s just another tool to protect students and help kids avoid peer pressure.
“It gives kids a chance to say no,” said Fort Stockton High School Athletic Director Derrick Taylor, adding “we don’t need to live in a box because they’re here. It would just be another tool in our arsenal to have drug testing.”
A few students chimed in on the subject, with one stating “well, you cant necessarily go after the whole school just because of a few.” Another added, “spend it on something else like more education or something. Or open more programs for students that care about education.”
One way the school could better use this money is by either subsidizing or providing lunches to students free of charge.
Punishment for failing a drug test is still being worked out, but suspension will likely be the course taken.
Studies show that drug testing at schools do not deter students from experimenting with drugs. A study recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that high schoolers who attended schools with drug testing were equally likely to try marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol as students who went to schools without drug testing policies.
Do students have a right to their privacy though?
According to Graham Boyd who is the director of the Drug Law Reform Project, American Civil Liberties Union, the presumption of innocence and the right to be free from unreasonable searches are fundamental guarantees of the Constitution. Random student drug testing, which forces individuals to prove their innocence absent any suspicion of guilt, undermines these core constitutional principles.
Given the invasive nature of such a program, lack of results, and already tightened school budgets, is this really a direction schools should go in?
Tell us in the comments section if you would support your child being drug tested at school.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com