The safety of children throughout the state, especially within school walls, is a noble priority. A recent program ready to begin in Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, however, brings up an important discussion. How much does the safety of Colorado children outweigh their right to privacy?
District 12 plans to begin a voluntary program within their school that involves their teenage students being subjected to drug tests on a random basis. Yes, according to the school representatives, it is true that not all students are required to take part in the anti-drug program, but "voluntary" might be a debatable description of the program.
According to sources, while students likely could decide alone that they want to be part of the program, parents can also volunteer that their children participate in the school's drug testing program. That means that some teens will be put through a random drug test at school, even if they are completely uncomfortable in doing so, because their parents enrolled them in the program without their consent.
The program consists of student IDs being drawn at random, and then those students will be expected to take a drug test via a urine sample. If a student refuses to take the test, the program considers that as an indication that the student has drugs in her system. Students who test positive for drugs will have their parents notified of the test results, and they must go home for at least the day.
There is no mention that students who test positive for drugs will be in any legal trouble or face drug charges following the test, but punishments include losing the privilege of driving to school and participating in school sports. The program is scheduled to start at the end of the month, and so far, only 50 of the school's 1,400 students are registered to participate in it.
What do you think about this program? Would you enroll your teen in it? How would you feel as a teenager to be forced to participate?
The Gazette: D-12 ready to launch voluntary drug testing at high school (9/1/2010)