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Mandatory Drug Testing Isn't The Answer

            In an effort to lower drug abuse among teens, many schools across the country have chosen to start testing their students for drugs. Not just their athletes, but all students. Athletes are tested mainly for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. This keeps the games they play fair. But testing students who don't participate in sports is not, however, because of unfair games. Schools say it's for the protection of their students, but is it really worth it? The answer is no.
             Perhaps the biggest reason schools should not start mandatory drug testing is because of the costs. The Vernonia school district estimated in 1995 that testing the entire school would cost $2,600 annually, not counting the administrative costs. While this may not seem like much, schools are always tight on money and should not waste it on things like drug testing. This money, time, and energy should instead be spent on other things like books and computers which all of the students can benefit from.
             Mandatory drug testing is a violation of the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures." An official must have a suspicion of drug use before they are allowed to test. But apparently some schools think their right to stop drug abuse is greater than the student's right to privacy. There are even a few schools that have gone as far as treating students who refuse the drug tests the same as students who test positive for drugs! Students should not have to give up their privacy to schools for something that will only affect the very few who abuse drugs.
             Most young drug users are hurting no one but themselves. By doing mandatory drug tests, the school is taking the place of the parents. The school's job is to educate children, not regulate their lives. That is the parents" job and if they can't handle it, then that's their problem, not the school's. There are some things that schools don't need to know about and try to help with, including drugs.

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