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Should high school athletes be drug tested? Show more Show less
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Playing any type of sport in high school can require a lot of hard work and effort, between long practices, games, and budgeting your time. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, roughly 55% of all high school students participate in at least one sport. Nearly a fourth of all high school students do at least one type of illicit drug, most popularly marijuana. Should highschools be drug testing their student-athletes?

No, high school athletes should not be drug tested Show more Show less

Drug testing student-athletes will make matters worse. It will break the trust between students and authority figures in schools, foster an environment of mistrust and sus[cion, waste money, and violate rights.
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Drug testing is expensive

A vast majority of schools are underfunded and in need of more resources to help their students reach their full potentials. Drug testing is expensive and unnecessary, and schools should reallocate funds to either drug education and counseling or other critical school programs.

The Argument

High school athletes should not be drug tested because it is too expensive to conduct these tests. On average, individual school drug tests cost about $24 each. If schools are randomly testing all of their high school athletes on every individual team, the annual costs will range in the tens of thousands of dollars.[1] This money can be spent on either far more effective initiatives related to reducing drug use of students. According to a report co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Drug Policy Alliance, schools could pay equivalent the costs of drug testing their students for far more effective measures. In lieu of a drug-testing program, a moderately large school could hire a full-time counselor to provide prevention programming to an entire student body and offer targeted intervention for students with substance use disorders. School-based counselors could provide advice and guidance to low-risk student-athletes and counseling to students with substance use-related problems and disorders.[2] Moreover, the money that is spent on drug testing high school athletes could be spent on far more significant resources that students could benefit from. Low-wealth districts, especially those serving concentrations of students from low-income families, are often the hardest hit by state budget cuts.[3] When these budget cuts occur, schools are left without vital resources such as books, counseling centers, and after school programs.[3] High school athletes are people and students before they are athletes. Schools need to properly invest in their students, rather than investing in expensive and often ineffective drug testing initiatives.

Counter arguments

Drug tests should be conducted on high school students because the costs of the drug tests do not outweigh the benefits. The benefits of drug testing students are far more substantial and significant than the monetary costs that come with testing. Drug tests can deter and significantly reduce the rates at which students and high school athletes use drugs.[4] This is potentially a life-saving measure. If students fear the consequences of getting positive drug tests, they may choose to abandon the idea of using illicit drugs in the first place. Moreover, in an instance, where a teenager is caught to have a positive result of drugs and subject to consequences, the person is less likely to abuse drugs in the future. Deterring students from taking drugs in the first place can literally save lives and the costs a school pays to administer these drug tests are worth it. It is a state elected officials' job to make sure they are allocating enough funds to schools so they can have all the resources they need like certain books or counseling programs.[3] It is schools' job to protect and keep their students safe from harm and away from drugs.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/27/schools-drug-tests-costly-ineffective-and-more-common-than-you-think/#:~:text=With%20school%20drug%20tests%20costing,to%20about%20%2420%2C000%20per%20year.
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2015/03/25/peds.2015-0055.full.pdf
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lindadarlinghammond/2019/08/05/americas-school-funding-struggle-how-were-robbing-our-future-by-under-investing-in-our-children/?sh=1e5ecb015eaf
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/drug-testing/frequently-asked-questions-about-drug-testing-in-schools
This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 04:13 UTC

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