Friday, July 16, 2010

School District Makes Good/Bad Choices on Random Student Drug Testing

When Edmond School District officials in 2008 and 2009 unveiled a proposed random drug testing policy similar to one recently introduced by the Deer Creek School District, more than a dozen parents and school patrons showed up at a public forum saying they opposed the policy. About half that number spoke in favor of the testing.
More proof that it takes community involvement to oppose wasteful and invasive random student drug testing programs. If your school district is thinking about implementing one of these programs, contact SSDP and we'll help you speak out.

Sadly, this same school district is likely to implement a policy that will randomly test students involved in extracurricular activities like sports. Grant Gower is the head football coach at Deer Creek High School. In the 1990's he helped implement student drug testing program at Tecumseh High School which led to the Supreme Court Case, Earls v. Board of Education. He had this interesting tid-bit to say:

"At the core of the issue, we're trying to provide a safe environment for our students," he said. "There's no question that drugs are a part of society. There's not any place in America that is immune from the drug issue. We're trying to protect and keep our students in a safe environment. We're not out to catch anyone."

Ironically, allowing students to participate in extracurricular activities is exactly what provides them with a safe environment. This drug testing program will do nothing more than stop students from participating in such activities by, contrary to Mr. Gower's statements, catching them.

For a nostalgic (and hilarious) look back at arguments against drug testing, check out this awesome video of former SSDP Executive Director Kris Krane destroying a drug testing profiteer on Fox News.

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