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Drug Testing in High Schools on the Increase

According to recent reports and articles, high schools across the United States are increasingly drug testing their students. Court cases that have addressed the legality of drug testing in high schools have resulted in opinions that allow high schools to drug test students as a prerequisite to joining school sports teams and extracurricular activity organizations. Students who refuse to consent to random drug testing can be banned from playing sports and participating in extracurricular activities.

President Bush instituted a policy to expand drug testing in high schools and approved millions of dollars towards that expansion. One way the federal government has encouraged high schools to drug test their students is to reward federal grant money to those schools that institute the drug testing policies. Reports indicate that 4-7% of all high schools in the U.S. have such random drug testing policies, and the numbers are increasing by about 100 per year.

Other than the obvious trust and right to privacy issues implicated by the high school drug testing policies, critics point to various studies (like this one) that indicate that such policies have no effect, or a negative effect, on drug use among high school students.