Drug Testing is on tonight’s New Berlin School Board Meeting agenda.
At the Feb. 9 School Board Meeting, there was a lively debate regarding a random drug testing for students administrative proposal:
Jennifer Eitel called drug testing an unnecessary step that sends the wrong message. She reminded the School Board that in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty.
Random drug testing creates an atmosphere of mistrust among students, parents and school district.
Eitel stressed educational options, asserting that drug awareness programs and bringing in good speakers to talk to kids is a better plan than random drug testing.
The drug testing proposal presented by administration on Feb 9 targeted student athletes and may extend to kids involved in other extra-curricular activities. That irked Eitel, who contended the proposal’s focus was on the wrong kids: Eitel argued that in her 6 years on the Board, students coming before the Board in expulsion hearings were not usually the ones involved in athletics/co-curriculars,
Eitel denounced the drug testing proposal as a “feel good” policy that makes it sound like the District/Board were doing something---but which wouldn’t really accomplish what they want.
There are studies indicating that drug testing has little or no positive impact on drug use that back up her claim.
The threat of random testing might actually cause some kids to avoid school/ extracurricular activities, increasing their risk for drug use.
Some kids may turn to drugs that aren’t included in the testing.
To avoid detection, some marijuana users might switch to a “harder” drug that doesn’t stay in the system as long.
Testing is not fool-proof. False positives and other errors can occur.
There are also other issues with random drug testing----such as privacy, confidentiality, and cost. Hopefully, those will be given careful thought and adequately addressed.