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?
Yes, high school athletes should be drug tested
The number of students who use illicit drugs could decrease drastically if athletes were to be drug tested in high schools. Schools have a duty to protect and serve in the best interests of all their students.
It will deter students from taking drugs
School drug testing policies will deter students from taking drugs in the first place. Fear of the consequences of a positive drug test will stop students from taking drugs completely.
It can result in students getting the help they need
The goal of drug tests in schools is not to punish students. Schools want to be able to intervene and ensure that if their students have a drug problem, they get access to treatment and resources needed for recovery .
Schools have a responsibility to make sure all of their students are in an environment that is safe, secure, and conducive to learning. Student-athletes who may be taking drugs will ultimately disrupt this safe learning environment.
No, high school athletes should not be drug tested
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.
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.
A student does not forfeit their Fourth Amendment rights upon entry into school. Students still have rights, and intrusive drug tests violate those rights. Drug testing students is a clear invasion of privacy.
It might encourage use of more dangerous substances
Drugs that show up on school drug tests are less dangerous and associated with very low mortality rates. But, if a student is aware of their school's drug testing policy, they may seek out drugs and substances that will go undetected. These are often substances far more lethal and dangerous.