Monday, February 19, 2007

Drug testing in schools

Okay, so kids taking drugs is a problem. I'm not going to argue with you on that one. But, drug tests in school?

That was Enda Kenny's suggestion recently. He wants schools to introduce random drug tests in school (and, alcohol too, apparently).
I believe that where the management of a school, in consultation with parents, decides to introduce random drug and alcohol testing, then the Department of Education and Science should provide the resources to allow this testing to happen. Instead of continually applying the same rigid and inflexible policies to all schools, I want to empower them to deal with this issue in their own way.
I don't see what this is going to accomplish. What happens if a child refuses to cooperate with the drug test? What if a child's parents don't want their child tested? Will that lead to automatic expulsion?

Drugs in school are a problem. Schools are great places for drug dealers to operate (and, yes, many dealers are only school-age). Rather than random drug testing I'd be in favor of sniffer dogs being brought into schools.

The problem is not that some kids take drugs when they're not in school, the real problem is that schools are ideal places to deal drugs. It's entirely possible that the money-making dealer would fly through a drugs test. Sniffer dogs are the only way to be sure that schools are not breeding grounds for criminal enterprises and that our children are safe in school from dealers and their minions.