• Middle school students to be drug tested

    Date: 02.01.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Students returning to the Belvidere School District in New Jersey for their second semester in January, 2011 have a new rule to follow. The school board extended the random drug testing policy that applies to its high schools to grades 6 through 8.

    The vote was 9 to 2 with the majority viewing the policy as a necessary deterrent to drug possession and use among its students. The board explained that the tests are not about punishment but a chance to educate the middle schoolers about the dangers of drug use. Some parents and teachers feel that it will give students an easy-out when pressured to use. They can say “No, I don’t want to do this – I’m afraid I’ll be tested tomorrow.”

    Photo by Amanda M Hatfield

    There is no penalty attached to the policy and the parents and student must consent to participate in the program. If a student tests positive, there is no discipline imposed by the school or report to the police. Counseling will be offered or a referral to a rehabilitation facility if appropriate. The drug tests check for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines and PCP. Additional testing may be requested.

    Since 1995, public schools have been allowed to randomly drug test student athletes (the James Acton case).  In 2002, the Supreme Court extended the testing policy to include all students participating in extracurricular activities (the Lindsay Earls case).

    What do you think about drug testing middle school students? Is this too young? Will it help deter these students from using drugs? Do you know any kids as young as 11 (6th grade) that are experimenting with drugs and alcohol? If you’re concerned, what can you do?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    3 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Mary Jane
      Tue, 01 Feb 2011 at 01:19

      Middle school students to be drug tested: Students returning to the Belvidere School DistrictA in New Jersey for… http://bit.ly/eto109

    • Askthejudge.info
      Wed, 02 Feb 2011 at 12:48

      @Bestmedicinenet Thx for the tweet! Middle school students to be drug tested… http://bit.ly/eto109

    • barhead
      Thu, 24 Feb 2011 at 09:55

      hi – does anyone know who the author of this is? it’s probably right in front of my face but i cant find it and i would like to site this in a paper i am writing. thanks!
      The author is Judge Tom Jacobs. Good luck with your paper.

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