A Kansas City school is going to start collecting hair samples from all students next year. From CBS St. Louis:
“Rockhurst High School will start the random drug testing during the 2013-14 school year. The school will collect 60 strands of hair from the student and test for several types of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine,” the station reported.
This is completely outrageous. Schools are not an arm of law enforcement, nor should they be. Unfortunately, the law encroaches on schools all the time.
This example is just the latest. What’s even more amazing is how the principal attempts to justify the drug-testing program.
“Our point is, if we do encounter a student who has made some bad decisions with drugs or alcohol, we will be able to intervene, get the parents involved, get him help if necessary, and then help him get back on a path of better decision making, healthier choices for his life,” Rockhurst principal Greg Harkness told the station.
See? It’s good intentions. But treating every student like a drug addict goes against the very American principles that are supposed to be taught in school.
If a student comes back with a positive drug test, that student will have 90 days to get drug-free. The station reports the file will be destroyed for any student who tests positive after graduation and colleges and universities will never know about the failed test.
How can they get away with it?
Private schools are allowed to test all students while public schools are restricted by the Fourth Amendment.
It may be legal, but private schools should respect student rights. Have you driven by a school lately? Have you seen the high fences and fancy security systems?
Schools oftentimes look like, as Bruce St. James said, “medium security prisons.” Maybe those fences are a reflection on modern-day America’s safety concerns. But maybe that also provides the justification to try to turn our schools into jails.