NC Schools Adopt Random Drug Testing

Schools in North Carolina's Jackson County are now participating in a new drug testing program that requires a variety of students to provide samples at random.
Nina Fenton
Published on

Schools in western North Carolina’s Jackson County have joined more than six other neighboring districts in mandating random drug testing for students.

The new drug tests will be conducted at random as samples will be collected from any students who intend to drive their vehicles on campus, park in the school parking lot, play on school sponsored athletic teams and participate in school related activities. Jackson County’s Superintendent Michael Murray wanted to make one thing very clear for inquiring minds wondering who would really have to take a test, saying “That does not mean every kid will get tested, but their name could be added into the testing pool.”

“Our position is if you want to drive a vehicle on our campus, then it’s fair that we should know whether or not you are using,” said Haywood County Schools Associate Superintendent Bill Nolte. “And if you want to put on our band uniform or basketball jersey or whatever and represent us in public, then it’s fair for us to do this random sampling.”

Teens and Drug Use

There is much debate circulating around the drug testing in schools, but there is little question about the growing issue of teens and drugs. A 2014 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration presented disheartening findings of 9.6%, roughly 70,000 teens, reported that they had used illicit substances within the last month between 2009 and 2013 in North Carolina alone. The national average of drug use of those surveyed between the ages of 12 and 17 fell slightly ahead at 9.8%. Startling statistics, no matter which way you slice it, really.

The rate of teenage drug use increasing often leaves parents at a loss and unsure where to turn when/if they suspect their teens of using drugs. There are valuable resources available, though. Resources that can help parents learn the importance of spotting teen ecstasy use as well as other dangerous drugs. A good place to start is with drug testing, much like the school districts are proposing. So, get the answers to some of your burning questions by scheduling a drug tests at one of Health Street’s DNA & Drug Testing Locations in North Carolina today.

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Is There a Need for Drug Tests in Schools?

The “need” for random urine drug tests rest largely in the eye of the beholder. Students and some proponents of Fourth Amendment rights may feel as if North Carolina’s new program is taking things a bit too far and ineffective. Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, is one the list of people who aren’t quite on board with the new drug testing protocol. He has been a rather vocal presence on the subject and has openly expressed his concern for the privacy of the students subject to them, saying “These regimes have proven time and again to be ineffective and have not curbed substance abuse by students. When you’re talking about students that drive on campus, you’re talking about a large percentage of students who are being subjected to searches and having their privacy violated when there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong.”

Despite facing continued bouts of opposition, the U.S. Supreme Court has maintained a different stance and has supported the drug testing of students in schools in North Carolina and many other states as over a quarter of the nations public high schools are already active participants of some sort of drug testing policy.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

WRITTEN BY

Nina works hard to be a voice to the voiceless whose stories about drug testing, DNA testing and paternity deserve to be told. It is her goal to always come from a place free of judgment and full of compassion.

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Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.

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Drug Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative drug testing stories.