Public schools

Back to School, Back to Random Drug Tests for Kids Who Did Nothing Wrong

Teens deserve privacy.



This fall, administrators at a public high school in Crivitz, Wisconsin, will begin randomly drug testing student-athletes, student-volunteers, and students with parking spaces—most of the students, really—to deter substance abuse, even though such policies are generally ineffective, according to experts.

The law prevents schools from drug-testing students en masse. But since extracurricular activities and parking spaces are privileges (unlike general school attendance), administrators are technically permitted to conduct drug tests on students who take advantage of those perks. At Crivitz High School, 1,266 of the 1,458 students qualify for random drug testing, according to

Under the recently announced policy, five students will be chosen every other week. These kids must then provide urine samples. reports:

Administrators say the goal is not to punish students, but rather to protect them. 

"The last couple years, I've noticed here in the high school we've started to get a growing drug problem, I think we've always kind of had a drug problem here in Marinette County," says Crivitz High School Athletic Director, Jeff Dorschner.

If a student refuses or tests positive, they will be given an athletic or club code violation, will have to sit out on activities, go to school counseling, and their parents will be involved. 

Crivitz's policy does not suggest that students who fail the tests will be suspended from class, or arrested. That's a good thing. The worst thing a school can do for a kid who's using drugs (or any kid, really) is to turn him into a criminal or dropout.

Still, there's something sinister about submitting random students to urine tests, without any cause to do so, as if they were prisoners.

In any case, randomly drug testing students is a bad policy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

"The AAP really questions whether that's a worthwhile investment for schools to make when in reality there are really limited dollars to target substance abuse support programs," said Dr. Sharon Levy, past chair of the Committee on Substance Abuse for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

And recent studies reflect poorly on it, according to The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham:

  • 2013 study looked at 14 years of data on student drug use and found that school drug testing was associated with "moderately lower marijuana use," but increased use of other, more dangerous illicit drugs.
  • 2014 study concluded that drug testing was "was not associated with changes in substance use."
  • 2013 study comparing drug use rates among schools with and without drug testing programs found some short-term deterrent effect among students who were tested, but no effects among students who weren't tested, and no long-term effects on either drug use or intention to use drugs in the future.

It's easy to imagine why this might be the case. Students who participate in sports and other clubs are less likely to abuse drugs, but subjecting this pool of kids to drug tests effectively encourages them not to sign up for extracurricular activities in the first place.

Absent a very compelling reason to do otherwise, school officials should respect their students' privacy. 

NEXT: North Carolina Poll Shows 40 Percent for Trump, 38 Percent for Clinton, and 9 Percent Supporting Deez Nuts

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Way to stomp on Deez Nuts, Robby.

    1. I, as spokesman for the West Coast Hit & Run Commenters, wish to commend Robby and all his compatriots for the recent uptick in late-night posts.

      Do you know how depressing it can be to come home from work, simply looking for a few minutes of pleasant distraction via joining in the arguments or snark, and find the website already closed for the night? Hopefully, not a tragedy to be seen much more.

      Say what others might about your lack of a Masters’ in journalism from Columbia, Mr. Soave — in my book, you are ACES.

      1. Maybe Reason could hire some Alaska- or Hawaii-based reporters to take it late into the night.

        Or to save money, hire some Indians to write for H&R.

        1. These fall supervisers at public school in Crivitz, will to start lottery testing of athlete student drugs, students of volunteering, and students with parkspaces?most of the body, really; to determine substantial abuse, though such policies are general ineffective, experts.

  2. Jared Fogle would totally fuck the chick in that picture.

    You missed it by not doing a pedophile alt-text, Robby.

    1. Would.

      Uh, buy chocolate bars for her fundraising drive.

      1. I was really hoping for that one Subway commercial with the adorable Asian girl (aren’t they all, though?) making the “footlong” gesture. Yeah, baby. You know how long a foot is, don’t you. Else you’re about to find out.

        1. Someone took the time to make this.

          1. Hahahah! Yes, that’s her. What a qt?.


            Yakkers171717 5 years ago
            Aww I was just about to make this

            What am I doing with my life.

          2. Nice find, HM. Still giggling.

            Is there anyone who didn’t think of that when those commercials were running? I’m glad someone made it into reality, it probably was the end of the ads.

            How you come across all these videos is beyond me. The ‘foot in her ass’ today was priceless as well.

    2. What if Fogel was a photographer of wedding cakes that knocked up an illegal immigrant 15 year old that drew cartoons of mohammed on burning US flags? Would you still let her have an abortion because she wanted a boy instead?

        1. I missed pizza and Trump. I’m slippin.

          1. And no mention of circumcision. You’re a total amateur.

            1. Stupid millenial.

      1. All Fogel has to do to get out of his legal troubles, is to self-identify as a gay paraplegic 14 year old Asian girl.

        According to the Jenner/Dolezal Principle. . . that would make Fogel, in fact, a gay paraplegic 14 year old Asian girl. . .

        Tah DAA! Everything he did is legal now.

    3. Speaking of pedophiles, has Plopper been by to defend Jared’s honor yet?

      1. Cathy Young is penning a scathing attack on those who would make Fogel the poster child for pedophiles.

      2. What if Ploppy was Jared?

        That would make him the 3rd most famous Hit ‘n Run commenter behind Big Boi and Mike Rowe!

        1. I once walked past Mike Rowe at a baseball game.
          I smiled and gave him the old “Mike Rowe wave”.

        2. Mike Rowe is amongst us?

  3. even though such policies are generally ineffective, according to experts.

    But they’re Seen to Be Doing Something, so it is effective.

  4. But since extracurricular activities and parking spaces are privileges (unlike general school attendance), administrators are technically permitted to conduct drug tests on students who take advantage of those perks.

    Um…how are these extracurricular activities paid for? If it’s tax dollars, it ain’t a fucking privilege.

    Fucking shitbags. Laws are something for authorities to get around.

    1. Being that money’s fungible they’re probably “paid for” by activities fees and fundraising.

    2. Plus, if they’re selecting the students, particularly if they’re selecting the students least likely to use drugs, it isn’t “random testing.”

  5. Got in an argument with a co-worker about this years ago. He’s like well if your not doing anything wrong. I just wanted to punch him repeatedly. Not the only time. What a shit.

    1. I have found that the “if you aren’t doing anything wrong” crowd is utterly intractable in its thinking and its members also seem the most stunned when the jackboot eventually comes down on them. When someone hits me with that line I just quit the conversation as fast as possible.

      1. The answer is “Ah, but buttinskis in positions of power have a distressing tendency to suddenly decide that what has been legal, isn’t anymore. And it takes time to change it back, if you even can at all.”

        I’ve had a few of the “If you aren’t doing anything wrong” twits look a little thoughtful after I’ve said that.

        In this case, you can also point out that the School Authorities are depending on tests that are prone to false-positives.

    2. Did you tell him he’s full of shit, as taking drugs is NOT wrong yet people are being punished for it?

      Oh, wait, it’s wrong because our betters passed a law against it.

      I hate humanity.

      1. Humanity is awesome. We’ve overtaken a planet with our intellectual prowess and stubborn obstreperousness. One planet down, next stop: the cosmos.

        1. Here’s hoping there is a libertarian species out there who can squash such an initiation of force.

      2. Humanity is ok. It’s the authoritarian cockroaches I loathe.

    3. Anyone with a modicum of statistics training will know that even if you test positive for drugs it doesn’t mean you have actually used drugs:‘_theorem

      1. The probability of a true negative from drug testing is the number of narcotic users as a fraction of the student body times the probability of a true negative from a valid specimen minus probability that a random narcotic user will evade testing. Upon announcement of random drug testing, it is reasonable for affected users of narcotics to avail themselves of techniques to evade detection. The result is a fairly small number (number of users) times a fairly small number (% true negative minus % evaders), which is a vanishingly small number.

        The probability of a false positive is much greater. Since most students are not narcotic users, it is calculated by multiplying the a large number (fraction of non-users) times a fairly small number (% false positive), which obtains a result that is significantly larger than the fraction of users detected by the test.

        In other words, if one tests positive for drugs, he probably is not a narcotics user.

        I really wouldn’t deprive school administrators of the authority to impose a random drug testing policy. However, the school district and administrators of such a policy should be subject to tort claims for damages caused by slander and libel when students are falsely accused.

  6. So has it now basically been proven that Bo/Tulpa is also Kizone Kaprow?

    I’m like 90% sure this is true at this point.

    1. Kizwho Kapwho? Don’t you mean whoever was fouling up the previous thread on policing?

      I don’t care enough to click back.

      Also, I don’t think Bo is Tulpa. I think Tulpa is a sockpuppet for someone who knows how to rile up libertarians because he is a libertarian. It’s just too on the nose specific to our complaints. All “defiance should be met with murder”, and so on.

      1. Agree Bo is not Tulpa. Bo generally argues from the left side of the spectrum, while Tulpa is all over the place – generally being the contrarian to what every one else thinks about a topic.

        And, Tulpa has been around a lot longer. I’d say 4-5 yrs. He formerly never hid his identity. He was even in that fantasy football league, the one we had after that one commenter died (J sub D). His avatar was a picture of him with a paper bag over his head.

    2. Some of us were going to use tools from corpus linguistics, like computer-aided text analysis, to definitively prove commonality in authorship.

      But we decided to get laid instead.

    3. I’d give that about an 8% likelihood.

    4. I’m not. Posting styles are quite different.

    5. I have no trouble believing that there are 3 distinct people there being insane and annoying. Tulpa’s sock puppets are obvious and Bo and KK don’t fit the mold.

  7. Here’s Walker’s plan to replace Obamacare. I’m not reading it either.…..y-unclear/

    1. he misspelled “repeal”.

    2. You know the federal government could in fact open up interstate health insurance markets. Right to regulate Interstate commerce and all. Just sayin’.

      1. Just repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Healthcare fixed.

    3. I have glaucoma. Could you remove it and replace it for me, Doctor Walker?

  8. Seattle grapples with its own libertarian moment:

    Seattle is veering so hard left that even the most liberal mayor in the city’s history may be too conservative. At least that’s what’s keeping him up nights.


    “And so Mayor Murray tells me what’s keeping him up at night, pacing his bedroom in thin socks: ‘After everything I’ve accomplished for this city,’ he says angrily, a reddish color flooding up his milky cheeks, ‘I’m still ‘the man.’?”

    Article continues with typical Seattle-centric unintentional hilarity.…

    1. Any time I look around Portland and think “wtf is wrong with these people” I only have to turn my gaze northward and remember that it could be much worse.

      1. Portland is like New York to California. Eventually, Seattle’s Dance of the ‘Tards will become your Dance of the ‘Tards.

        1. But you’ll still be stuck with Epi.

    2. You seem to have linked to a story about marijuana, and not whatever it is you meant to link to.

      1. This the one you were going for?:…..g-the-man/

        This comment is great:

        1 hour ago

        When you’re in control of a city which has a small uniformed army of people with guns, the right to shoot people (sometimes in the back) with little accountability for it, you’re the man.

        You were the man long before you even ran for mayor. The act of running for mayor, in fact, merely proved your desire to be the man.

  9. What kind of a so called libertarian rag is this? The school should respect the students privacy is not the answer. Ending public education is the answer.

    1. Libertarian? Clearly you are not familiar with Nick.

      Reason’s positions on ending things is that they can never be ended so they should be changed to make them more “fair”. The fact that this mirrors the beliefs of the hardcore left is not lost upon them.

    2. Ending drug testing of students is a short-term goal that is possible. Ending public schooling is a long term goal. Not possible, right now. But undermining the idea that school administrators are competent to be drug councellors is a way to erode their position generally.

  10. Can confirm. My well-behaved, straight-A, gifted & talented program, first chair in honors band kid had to do two random urine drug tests last year in seventh grade. Which, I might add, she started at age 11 because she is a year ahead. And I was not informed when the tests took place (although I did reluctantly sign the paperwork consenting to it at registration); after the fact she casually mentioned that she had been called to the nurse’s office and asked to pee in a cup. It’s either consent to her fourth amendment rights being violated, or remove her from all extracurricular activities (band, math team), which she loves and we find worthwhile. Vile.

    1. Everyone knows musicians smoke the reefer.

      1. Musicians smoke the reefer. The end result is gratuitous sax and violins…

  11. Parents, teach your children this phrase: “Not without a warrant, motherFUCKER!”


  12. This fall, administrators at a public high school in Crivitz, Wisconsin, will begin randomly drug testing student-athletes, student-volunteers, and students with parking spaces [?] At Crivitz High School, 1,266 of the 1,458 students qualify for random drug testing, according to

    That’s only 86.8%. I fault the administrators for not figuring out a way to hit 99% of students.

    Maybe students who chose not to opt out of drug testing by not enrolling in private school.

  13. My kid went to a private school. The students were treated like ladies and gentlemen. They had about a 95% success rate in turning out decent citizens. You get what you prep for. Here they are prepping for compliance, prison mentality, and predatory capitalism – the testing service provider. I’d pee on their shoes before I’d pee in a cup.

  14. So you are saying that collectivism sucks? Who knew?

  15. Were I a Parent, I would be asking, LOUDLY, what the school proposed to do when, not if, a student got a false-positive and sued the school district.

  16. My response is the same as to work place drug testing:

    I’ll happily – nay, eagerly – consent to any drug testing you like – and that my supervisor and THEIR supervisor consent to.

    And that I have the same access to their results that they have to mine.

    So, where do we all sign?

  17. Of course these kids aren’t in prison. If they were the cafeteria food would be better.

  18. It’s not about substance abuse, it’s about power.

  19. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.