Did you know that random drug testing is legal in schools in Florida? The Supreme Court decided that students could be tested if there was suspicion that they were using the drugs, but it also upheld that random testing could be used to catch students who had not previously been linked in any way to drug use.
Technically, schools are not allowed to test any students. They can only test those who decide to join in competitive extracurricular activities. Students who decline to join these groups then have a right to refuse the testing.
This does give students a bit of a choice. If they don’t want to be subjected to testing, they are able to get out of it. They just have to be willing to give up their after-school activities, as well. Examples of these activities include playing football, playing basketball, joining the swim team or participating in school clubs.
Wondering why schools embrace this random drug testing, even though it may subject students to tests in which they don’t want to participate? The schools claim that they do it first so that they can provide a deterrent. The idea here is that kids who may consider using drugs won’t start if they know they can be tested.
Additionally, the schools claim that they are trying to find students who may have just started using so that they can intervene early. They do say that the goal is typically not to send students to jail, but to get them treatment.
Still, if you’re facing drug charges after random testing, or if your child is, it’s important to know what legal rights the school has and what rights the accused retains.
Source: Drugabuse.gov, “Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools,” accessed March 17, 2016