Imagine yourselves at school facing a mandatory drug test just because the administration thinks you MIGHT have done drugs. Mandatory drug testing has been in effect in many schools around the United States, but still remain an explosive topic today. Because many people like me believe that mandatory drug testing in public schools is a clear violation of our right to privacy, and just doesn’t work to deter drug use. In fact the 4th Amendment to the constitution states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” So why should you care about mandatory drug testing if you don’t do drugs? Well I don’t think your parents would be overjoyed to hear that you have to do a drug test.
First and foremost the main argument against mandatory drug testing in public schools is that it is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Others may say that it is justified because there is probable cause, but in most cases schools just randomly drug test students based on no hard facts or evidence of previous drug use. In fact a U.S. District Court in Texas struck down a rule that required students in Lockney Independent School District to take mandatory drug tests. The Judge said, “This Court concludes that the mandatory, random, suspicionless drug testing program for all students participating in extracurricular activities is violative of the Fourth Amendment.”
Another argument against mandatory drug testing is that randomly testing students doesn’t work to deter drug use; in some cases it might actually cause more drug use because of the rebellious nature of teens. Others say that because the drug tests are random that it will deter students from using drugs because they won’t know when the tests are coming so they will in turn just stop doing drugs. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2007 they state that in order to prevent drug use you have to go to the root of the problem which is fostering better parental relations at home which is a lot more effective than just randomly testing students at home.
Plus the validity of some drug testing can be questioned; drug tests are not 100% accurate which could cause serious problems to those who receive false positives. Still others say that drug testing is accurate enough to be used in schools, even though some may receive false positives, the benefits still outweigh the costs. In an article written by U.S. News and World Report in 2002, they state that, “tests can be fooled by look-alike chemical found in food and over-the-counter medications. And the fastest-growing type of drug tests — cheap, onsite testing tools that costs as little as $3 each — are the least accurate.”
Not only is mandatory drug testing a clear violation of the 4th amendment, it has also been to proven to be ineffective in preventing drug use and the cheap drug test being used at most schools today are inaccurate. It is up to us to fight this injustice, mandatory drug testing is only the beginning, further intrusions into our privacy is ever more present in our lives today and our future.C.S. Lewis once said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.