Drug testing dawgs

My view of the new drug testing policy

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Among the many policies at North Platte High School, there’s one that’s been gaining a lot of buzz since the school year began. This policy, known as #5306, allows North Platte High School to perform random drug tests on students who participate in any extracurricular activity.

In August 2017, the board of education started discussing drug testing students in sports, but then expanded it to extracurriculars in their entirety. It’s my understanding that NPHS’s goal for the year is to make students feel like they’re in a safe space, from the new security measures to the newly added Bulldog Time.

To me, the drug testing doesn’t at all make me feel safe. Though I’m not a drug user myself, this makes me feel like I have to choose between an activity that helps me get into colleges and makes me feel at home, or feeling anxious and worried for when my number will be pulled out of the raffle-style choosing process. It’s like I’m just waiting to feel like my privacy has been violated.

Once a week, 10 students will be randomly selected by a computer program and taken to receive a drug test, making the goal 40 kids a month. After being chosen, the student will be put right back in and eligible for yet another round of testing. “[They could be] tested more than once, they might get tested two or three times a year,” said activities director Marc Mroczek.

As I see it, these activities we’re pushed to do by colleges, parents, peers, and the school itself can be an escape for people with drug problems. I’ve always heard stories from reformed “druggie” speakers on how the thing that kept them from drugs were activities like football, art club, wrestling, and many other clubs I now feel deterred from participating in because of the fear of having to pee in a cup and having the results released to designated district personnel.

I don’t think schools are on a need-to-know basis when it comes to what medication I’ve been prescribed just because it showed up on a drug test that they don’t have probable cause for. Going to school shouldn’t feel like a task that makes you feel personally uncomfortable, and worried, like you’ll be violated in any form, and that’s how this policy makes me feel.

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