Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random School Drug Testing in Colorado

It appears that the country's paranoid hysteria over drug use continues to dismiss the "innocent-until-proven-guilty" component in our legal system. From the Denver Post, "Springs school district weighs random drug tests:"

A random drug test program being considered by Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 would be the first such program in the Pikes Peak region and only the fourth in the state. The policy, which had its first reading at a May 20 school board meeting, would allow random drug tests of high school students who are involved in district extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs and musical groups.

Discussions about adopting such a policy grew out of an investigation last fall that revealed what police called a "significant" heroin problem at Cheyenne Mountain High School. Police arrested former students and Mexican nationals in a bust linked to the school, but no students were arrested. District officials met with students and parents to determine how serious the drug problem was at the school, offering counseling and other services to students using drugs. About 25 students were involved in the drug incident involving black tar heroin, a potent form of the drug trafficked through Mexico, district officials said.

The board and administration in January began to consider a random drug testing policy. Such policies are controversial because some people believe they are an invasion of privacy and aren't warranted to ferret out the small number of students who abuse drugs.

The interesting component is the focus on activity-involved kids. It may seem to be the one thing districts hold over the kids' heads. But are they just not concerned with the uninvolved kids who are smoking across the street while the activities kids are at meetings and practice?

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