For several years, random drug tests have been done in public high schools, hospitals and other places of employment. The process usually involves taking urine samples from students or employees to test it for traces of drugs like cocaine, PCP, opiates, marijuana and amphetamines. So why do certain public high schools choose to conduct these tests and is it actually legal for them to do so? The main reason public high schools do these random drug tests is to decrease, if not completely eliminate the use and abuse of illegal drugs among their students. Another great thing about doing random drug tests in public high schools is it can be an effective deterrent, giving students a reason to not give in to peer pressure and not take illegal drugs. And because drug tests reveal which students are actually taking illegal drugs, proper intervention can be done right away.
Although it is true that drug testing is effective at identifying which among today’s public high school students are taking and abusing illegal drugs, it should not be taken as a standalone solution to preventing drug use among their students. After testing is done, it should not be taken as a first step towards a more extensive solution to stop drug abuse among public high school students. In order to complete the process. There should be intervention programs; treatment options as well as support groups that would combat drug abuse among the students. Drug tests are done on teenagers because they are the most vulnerable to drug abuse; and intervention must be done as soon as drug abuse is detected. So we go back to the question: is it legal to do random drug tests in public high schools?
US Supreme court had allowed back in June, 2002 to do random drug tests in middle and high schools students that are going to be part of extracurricular activities and later on expanded to include school drug tests. But before a school or a school district can do a random drug test among their students, they need to make sure they would get legal advice so they can be in compliance with local, state and federal laws and do take note that individual states can dictate their own legal boundaries in allowing schools and school districts to do random drug tests among their students. This is important to be sure that the rights of the students, their parents and the rights of student administrators are well protected throughout the process and prevent middle school and high school students from using and abusing illegal drugs.