The Glen Cove School District is treading on very dangerous ground if it proceeds with the implementation of mandatory drug testing for an elective course. What follows? Mandatory drug testing for admission to honors courses, or perhaps even as a requirement for graduation? Drug testing has been used with consenting adult employees in the work force to screen for illicit drug use. It has no business being used with minors, under the guise of public education. The school district should take a very careful look at the number of lawsuits corporate America is now faced with from accused workers who have challenged drug test results. They would do well to read the July 16 article published in USA Today that questions the accuracy of hair sampling results, particularly amongst African-American and Hispanic individuals. Hair analysis reveals very personal and confidential information.
It is naive to believe that a student's privacy is not placed in jeopardy. By submitting to hair analysis, a student is allowing very personal information about themselves to be disclosed, with no guarantee about how that information might be used, both in the present and future. As a parent, I would strongly advise my own children not to submit to hair analysis. I would also question if a public school system can legally bar an academically able student from a course based on their refusal to submit to drug testing. While the school district may have very good intentions, they are underestimating the potential violations of privacy and civil liberty that drug testing, particularly with minors, entails. The district would be foolish to open this Pandora's box.