Chapel Hill, NC: One in seven public school districts randomly drug tests their student body, according to survey data published this month in the American Journal of Public Health.
The percentage is approximately 50 percent higher the total number of schools that reported performing suspicionless drug testing five years ago.
Among the schools that employ random drug testing, 93 percent test student athletes, while 65 percent test students who engage in extracurricular activities – a practice that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2002 in a 5-4 decision.
Twenty-nine percent of school districts that perform drug testing impose it upon the entire student body, a practice that extends "beyond current Supreme Court sanctions."
Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on School Health resolved, "There is little evidence of the effectiveness of school-based drug testing," and warned that students subjected to random testing programs may experience "an increase in known risk factors for drug use." The Academy also warned that school-based drug testing programs could decrease student involvement in extracurricular activities and undermine trust between pupils and educators.
A 2003 cross-sectional study of national student drug testing programs previously reported, "Drug testing, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, does not prevent or inhibit student drug use."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com. Full text of the study, "Random drug testing in US public school districts," appears in the American Journal of Public Health.