Mandatory Drug Testing in Schools

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In 2003, Savana Redding, a thirteen year old girl, was suspected of having drugs in school. Two female school employees checked her after she was forced to strip. This left Savana traumatized, and eventually motivated her to switch schools. She also developed stomach ulcers from this experience. No one actually had valid reasons to suspect her. She was a good kid, and she was never involved with drugs. Six years later, Savana, along with her mother, filed a lawsuit against the school administration. Even after six years, Savana has clearly not fully moved on. Now this is an extreme case, but it’s not so far off from what may be occurring in schools. In recent years, the question of drug testing in the American school system has grown into an explosive controversy. Many think random screenings will discourage drug abuse. If random drug searches are allowed, this will open many opportunities for other constant surveillance, and thus interfere with their freedoms as citizens. Mandatory drug testing in schools is proven to be ineffective, costly, and a violation of privacy. Studies have repeatedly shown that random drug testing does not reduce student drug use. The largest national student study conducted by the U.S. government's own program, Monitoring the Future, found in 2002 that random, mandatory drug testing had no impact on students' rates of drug use. This study covered three years and included over 76,000 students nationwide in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades. The researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a more extensive study later that year with a bigger sample of schools, another year of data and an larger focus on random testing programs. The updated results reinforced their previous conclusions: “So, does drug testing prevent or inhibit student drug use? Our data suggest that, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, it

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