Last June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any student who participates in extracurricular activities could be subject to drug testing, should their school decide. Three months later, opposition is mounting amongst parents, teachers and education experts who feel deterring students from participating in after-school activities is the worst drug-prevention strategy of all.
“We should be applauding students who spend their time productively, not subjecting them to suspicion and humiliation,” said Dr. Marsha Rosenbaum, author of Safety 1st: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens, Drugs and Drug Education. “None of us want young people using drugs, so let’s encourage – not discourage — their interest in other activities.”
In response to the numerous organizing efforts of parents, teachers and coaches around the country around this issue, Drug Policy Alliance, a national organization that represented the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Education Association in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court, has launched a website campaign, called “Drug Testing Fails Our Youth.” The three main arguments presented by opponents to drug testing are:
- Drug testing is humiliating for students and may discourage them from participating in extracurricular activities.
- Participation in extracurricular activities has been show to be one of the most effective known deterrents to drug use.
- Drug testing creates an environment where students cannot trust adults.
The site – www.drugtestingfails.org — contains answers to frequently asked questions, links to studies on drug testing, information on schools across the country that have overturned or abandoned their proposed drug testing programs, and resources for building a successful campaign against drug testing.