Is drug testing middle school students an excessive form of security or is it an effective way to keep schools free of bad influences?
That was the debate that two attorneys had while appearing on “Fox & Friends” on Saturday. Their conversation came amid reports that a Texas school district would start testing kids as young as 12 if they wanted to participate in extracurricular activities.
The rule, which also applied to students parking in the school’s parking lot, could dissuade students from participating in any of those activities, attorney Jonna Spilbor worried.
“Why do we need to turn our school officials into probation officers?” Spilbor asked. “What we call these are suspicionless searches — when there’s no correlation between the kid’s actual behavior and random drug testing, why do we need to do it? It almost turns the school into a jail.”
David G. Evans, founder of the Drug Free Schools Coalition, argued not only that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of school drug testing, but also that testing actually increases participation in extracurricular activities.
“There is no decrease in extracurricular activities. There is a study that shows that actually extracurricular activities go up because … the majority of kids in high school don’t use drugs and so they’re going to participate,” he said.
He added that the drug testing rule gave students a reason to refuse their peers’ offers to do drugs. “They can be on the football team — somebody offers them a drug — they can say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be tested.'”
Spilbor countered by arguing that just because drug testing was legal, that didn’t mean schools had to engage in that practice. “Yes you stand in the shoes of parents when you’re a school official. You do not stand in the shoes of the police officers,” she added.