Study Says: Drug Testing in Schools Doesn’t Work, But There Are Better Ways to Keep Kids Off Drugs

just say noIvy Dawned/flickrA new study (pdf) published in the Journal of Study on Alcohol and Drugs based on 361 high school students assessed one year apart finds that student drug testing “was not associated with changes in substance use, whereas perceived positive school climates were associated with a reduction in cigarette and marijuana initiation and a reduction in escalation of frequency of cigarette use."

The study also found that neither drug testing nor a “positive school climate” affected alcohol use, because, the study authors claim, it is “normative.” The study defined a positive school climate based on asking students who were followed how they felt about whether: “(a) the rules in the school are clear, (b) teachers can handle problems in the school, and the level of respect between (c) students, (d) teachers for students, and (e) students for teachers is high.”

Ten years ago, in the 2004-2005 academic year, one in seven school districts had some kind of random drug testing program. Sometimes the introduction of drug testing, or even drug dogs, in schools is met with thunderous applause. Sometimes some parents put up opposition. Parents at one high school in New Jersey have recently taken their school district to court looking for documents the district said showed drug testing was needed, but also claimed those documents were confidential and privileged. A state judge decided in the parents’ favor, awarding them $7,500 in legal fees and ruling the school shouldn’t have withheld documents and that using private e-mail didn’t mean they could evade open records laws. You can put up a fight, or let the Marge Simpsons win.

More Reason on drug testing.

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  • Creme Fraiche||

    I like DARE. How else will I get a good chuckle at a Dead concert?

  • ||

    The study defined a positive school climate based on asking students who were followed how they felt about whether: “(a) the rules in the school are clear, (b) teachers can handle problems in the school, and the level of respect between (c) students, (d) teachers for students, and (e) students for teachers is high.”

    Aren't meaningless definitions arrived at by vague, completely meaningless questions awesome? They tell us so much about...nothing. Rules are clear! It's positive! Why again? Are clear rules a positive for every possible student?

    Bring on the junk sociology studies! They're always good for a hoot.

  • Creme Fraiche||

    Shit that makes no sense. I meant to I always chuckle when I see someone wearing a DARE shirt at a Dead concert

  • Creme Fraiche||

    *meant to say

  • ||

    I bought a repro DARE shirt years ago, thinking it would be funny to wear it as a joke, and then realized I couldn't stand the thought of wearing the fucking thing or possibly having someone think I was serious. So I ditched it. Ugh, I fucking hate DARE.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think the core error here is trying to solve a relatively narrow problem by overly-wide means. The problem is supposedly drugs harming kids, but many kids don't take drugs, so why expend resources on them? Expend the resources on the kids who are obviously in trouble. I don't care if some honor student smoked some pot at a party. I do care if some loser is about to drop out and become a drain on society, whether he takes drugs or not.

  • ||

    "Drain on society"? What the fuck does that even mean?

  • PapayaSF||

    It means someone headed for a life of crime, poverty, and/or welfare dependence.

  • ||

    Uh huh. And how do you know that?

  • Gene||

    Dunphy told him.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh come on, don't be dense. All I'm saying is that it makes no sense to use resources for checking everyone for X, when the point is to prevent Y, which only has a loose correlation with X. I'm sure teachers can tell who the bad/unlucky students are. Will they be 100% accurate? Of course not. But if a kid is acting out, showing up stoned or drunk, committing crimes, not showing up at all, those are the kids they need to pay extra attention to, whether they use drugs or smoke or not.

  • RishJoMo||

    Those guys do not seem to have a clue at all man.

    www.Anon-Global.tk

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Never forget that DARE was the brainchild of Darrell Gates, LAPD Police Chief, who famously called for 16 year-old users of marijuana to be executed.

    ... Hobbit

  • flye||

    What if we put the kids in a Promise Zone, will that help?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    THIS IS A DARE FREE SCHOOL ZONE.

  • RishJoMo||

    Dare to make a difference man, dare to!

    www.AnonGlobal.tk

  • Marty .||

    My Lord, the bot is learning...

  • wingnutx||

    All your kid wanted was a Pepsi.

  • Ross Adams||

    You're not thinking, you're on drugs!

  • AlgerHiss||

    How anyone with a brain would put their kids in today's k-12 government school system would only prove, they have no brain.

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