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Topics Homepage> Schools should have mandatory drug testing for student participants in extracurricular activities.

Schools should have mandatory drug testing for student participants in extracurricular activities.

PRO (3 assertions)

Refutations:

1. If they say: "The Supreme Court rules that drug testing is legal"

Then say: Well, just because the Supreme Court says its legal doesn't necessarily make it the right choice. The Supreme Court decides whether something is legal or not, not whether or not it will fix our drug problem in America.

2. If they say: "It has a deterrent effect"

Then say: But people can cheat the system with blood cleaners, and the drugs wear off after a few hours after taking them, so people could easily evade the system.

 

POIs:

1. What is the accuracy rate of drug tests?

2. How do the tests work?

3. According to these drug tests, what percent of American teens do, in fact, take drugs?

1. Assertion: Mandatory drug testing lowers drug use in students.

Reasoning: Drug use has become a huge issue in schools and a basic easy way to try to stop it is to have drug tests to participate in the extracurricular parts of school. Students involved in extracurricular activities and subject to in-school drug testing reported less substance use than comparable students in high schools without drug testing, according to a new evaluation released today by the Institute of Education Sciences.

Evidence: The study, The Effectiveness of Mandatory-Random Student Drug Testing, examined 7 districts that were awarded grants in 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools to implement mandatory-random drug testing programs in their 36 high schools. Key findings include:

1) Some 16 percent of students subject to drug testing reported using substances covered by their district's testing in the past 30 days, compared with 22 percent of comparable students in schools without the program. Similar patterns were observed for other measures of student-reported substance use, but those differences were not statistically significant.

2) There was no evidence that the drug testing reduced students' participation in extracurricular activities or affected their connection to school.

Researchers also examined whether students in schools with drug testing, perhaps because they were more aware of the consequences of substance use, might be underreporting such use. However, there were no differences between the treatment and control groups in students' reports of how honest they were in completing the surveys or in how often students didn't respond to particular questions. Also, there were no inconsistencies in reports of lifetime use between the surveys they completed before knowing whether their school required drug testing and afterwards. The study was directed by the National Center for Education Evaluation within IES and conducted by RMC Research Corporation and Mathematical Policy Research

2. Assertion: The drug testing policy will result in a lowered amount of steroid use in high schools.

Reasoning: Steroid use has created an unfair sports program in many districts. This drug testing program completely insures that no steroid user will be allowed to participate in the sports creating a completely fair and equal system for all students.

Evidence: Because drug users will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities, steroid users will not either. Therefore, as stated by Psychology Today, sports programs will become more fair and equal for all students.

3. Assertion: The drug testing policy creates an incentive to discontinue malpractice of harmful substances.

Reasoning: In future generations, the drug testing method, through abolishing drug use, helps inspire action against drug and alcohol use to create a better future.

Evidence: Psychology Today states that this policy generates mentality of disapproval of drugs amongst the children.

CON (6 assertions)

Links to more CON research:

Relationship Between Student Illicit Drug Use and School Drug-Testing Policies

This article is for the opposition. It is a study that shows drug testing does not reduce drug use among students. The study is pretty hard to read, but students can skip the data and examine the introduction and the conclusion carefully.

 

Why Drug Tests Flunk

This article is for the opposition. It argues that random drug testing does not keep students from using drugs. It simply causes them to find ways to pass a drug test without actually giving up their drug habit.

 

Compensating Behavior and the Drug Testing of High School Athletes

This article is for the opposition. It explains how only testing student athletes can actually lead to an increase in overall drug use. Robert Taylor, the author, argues that these policies encourage athletes to quit sports for fear of being drug tested. This causes former student athletes to hang around non-athletes who have higher rates of drug use than athletes, making them more likely to use drugs.

 

 

Grabbers:

1) According to Matt Johnson of Time Magazine in 2009, Memphis, Tennessee supported a drug testing study and from the original 23,000 participants in the program, after only two months, the number of users decreased by 6,000 people. Memphis also recorded 52% less recorded drug use in Memphis after the 2 month period.

 

Definitions:

1) Schools - U.S. public schools only

2) Mandatory drug testing - drug testing for any student athlete before participation in a sporting event at random intervals

3) Participation - joining and staying involved in

4) Extracurricular activities - school-sponsored sporting events

5) The testing would only be required for students who wanted to participate in extracurricular activities or if the student is under suspicion for drug use.

 

 

Refutations:

1. AT: Drug testing is too costly and a waste of money

Then say: Testing may be costly, but it is justified as a necessary to ensure a sage, drug-free learning environment. Besides, it is no waste of money because the amount spent still goes to a useful cause. Also, if the policy is implemented, the number of drug users will go down so the amount of drug tests will lower and the cost will decrease.

2. AT: Lowers participation in extracurricular activities

Then say: A study conducted by the National Center for Education Evaluation within IES and RMC Research Corporation and Mathematical Policy Research has already proved that there is no decrease in participation at all therefore proving this point untrue and invalid.

 

Supreme Court Cases


1. Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County,

2. Oklahoma v. Earls (2002) found that drug testing in schools was constitutional. 

3. Study by Professor Joseph McKinley of Indiana University, Drug testing in 94 schools: 85% of the high school principals reported an increase in either drug usage or alcohol usage among their students after the drug testing program was stopped, 83% reported their answers concerning the increase in drug and alcohol usage was based on information received directly from students., 79% said their answers were based on information from teachers and staff., 59% said information came from law enforcement., 23% said information came from formal surveys of students at the school.

MEANS INFORMATION WAS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES FROM MOST SCHOOLS, THAT'S WHY SUM IS MORE THAN 100: EACH SCHOOL IS GETTING INFO FROM MORE THAN ONE OF THE FOUR LISTED WAYS

78% of the principals reported that there was an increase in the number of students who came forward and told them that drug and alcohol usage was on the rise since the drug-testing program was stopped., 89% of the principals believe that the drug-testing program undermines the effects of peer pressure by providing a legitimate reason to refuse to use illegal drugs and alcohol. There was no statistically significant difference in the increase in drug and alcohol usage based on the size or location of the high school. In other words, all high schools, regardless of size or location, were impacted by the increase. 

Conclusion: Study does show that drug testing policies are effective in reducing the temptation to use drugs and alcohol.â

LONG TERM EFFECTS AND SUSTAINABILITY OF STUDENTS LIVES IN FUTURE - PROMOTING WELFARE IN LONG TERM: Repeated drug abuse can lead to serious problems, such as poor academic outcomes, mood changes (depending on the drug: depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis), and social or family problems caused or worsened by drugs. Repeated drug use can also lead to the disease of addiction. Studies show that the earlier a teen begins using drugs, the more likely he or she will develop a substance abuse problem or addiction. Conversely, if teens stay away from drugs while in high school, they are less likely to develop a substance abuse problem later in life.

WHY PRODUCTS TO MASK DRUG USE ARE INEFFECTIVE: “Most of these products do not work, are very costly, are easily identified in the testing process and need to be on hand constantly, because of the very nature of random testing. Moreover, even if the specific drug is successfully masked, the product itself can be detected, in which case the student using it would become an obvious candidate for additional screening and attention. In fact, some testing programs label a test "positive" if a masking product is detected.”

HARD TO EVADE TESTS: Marijuana - 7 to 30 days in urine, up to 90 days in hair, two weeks in blood.

 

1. Assertion: Mandatory drug test for participation in extracurricular activities has been proven to do the opposite of lower drug usage.

Reasoning:Studies and surveys have proved that drug tests constantly cause an increase in usage.

Evidence:83 high school where observed in a study.

Results:

  1. 85% of the high school principals reported an increase in either drug usage or alcohol usage among their students after the drug testing program was stopped, compared to the 1999-00 school year (when they had a drug testing plan implemented).

  2. 80% reported an increase in illicit drug usage during the 2000-01 school year compared to the previous year.

  3. 59% reported an increase in alcohol usage during the 2000-01 school year compared to the previous year.

  4. 83% reported their answers concerning the increase in drug and alcohol usage was based on

  5. information received directly from students.

  6. 79% said their answers were based on information from teachers and staff.

  7. 59% said information came from law enforcement.

  8. 23% said information came from formal surveys of students at the school.

  9. 78% of the principals reported that there was an increase (compared to the 1999-00 year) in the number of students who came forward and told them that drug and alcohol usage was on the rise since the drug-testing program was stopped.

2. Assertion: Drug tests have many flaws, making it an unreliable way to test for drug use.

Reasoning: The tests currently used test a biological specimen, usually urine. However, certain drugs only stay in a person's system for a few hours and there are many substances that can remove the drug remains from urine.

Evidence: According to the students at rural Rushville Consolidated High School, there are a dozen ways to pass a drug test. You can march down to the local video store and buy a packet of "Karma" urine-cleansing powder. You can toss salt in your urine sample or drop in a strand of hair coated with hairspray. More often than not, it's simply a matter of choosing the right kinds of drugs, say the teens -- Ecstasy and alcohol disappear from your system within hours; marijuana can take up to 30 days.

The drug testing vans roll up to the Rushville campus every few weeks, and 25 students are randomly asked to produce a urine sample; yet hardly anybody is ever caught with drugs in their system. And it's not because they aren't doing drugs.

"I'd guess 75 percent of my class has tried marijuana," senior Adam Sadler says,  "A lot of kids do drugs at this school; though it kind of depends on who you are," one says. "The thing is to just make sure you pass the tests."

For six years, Rushville Consolidated has required random drug tests from between 75 to 90 percent of its 900 or so students, including anyone who participates in extracurricular activities or plays sports. If they get caught with drugs, alcohol or tobacco in their systems, they are denied participation in these activities until they can prove they're clean. (Whydrug tests flunk; by Janelle Brown)

3. Assertion: There is little evidence that drug testing programs have had any measurable impact in the schools that use them.

Reasoning: Even if in certain districts there is a decrease in drug use, the actual impact of the programs are negative when the result is compared to the cost of the program. Virtually speaking, this program has a goal that could be beneficial, but in reality, there is no substantial impact, no substantial decrease of drug use and in most districts using this program, the usage amount either remains the same or increases.

4. Assertion: Mandatory drug testing is a clear violation of constitutional rights: laws of presumable innocence and laws that free individuals from unwarranted search and seizure.

Reasoning: Students should not be forced to undergo drug testing to participate in sport or other activities. Students are claiming that this takes away their civil liberties and privacy all together. School administrators fear legal ramifications of even attempting to implement a random drug testing policy. The fact is its not fair, and completely unconstitutional. Such a policy should not a mandatory.

Evidence: The Supreme Court has ruled that drug testing is legal, but only if the student is under suspicion. Otherwise, it is a violation of his/her rights.

 


Assertions #5, 6