Our View: New drug testing policy maintains school integrity

By The Tower Editorial Board

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

See this article talking about the new drug policy at Grosse Pointe South Highschool. What is your school’s policy on drugs and alcohol? We here at WANT would love to hear from you!

With the beginning of a new semester, school officials have decided to stress the importance of our drug testing policy: if the administration has reason to believe that a student is under the influence of marijuana, they can offer to issue a drug test directly on campus. It will  not be forced upon the student, but if they refuse the test, it will be taken as an admission of guilt and consequences will be administered accordingly.

This existing policy mirrors the one used for alcohol, but there is a small difference that may be a big game changer. Now, if a student is thought to be under the influence, they will not have to go to an outside testing clinic to prove their innocence. Therefore, this new approach has raised many concerns for students and parents alike.

Many fret over whether or not teachers will “target” certain students and let their personal feelings towards them dictate their actions. Others are worried that teachers may profile students based on their outward appearance. Students find the policy will give an unfair disadvantage to those who fit a specific stereotype, possibly making teachers more likely to suggest they take the test.

Similar to that of a breathalyzer, the drug test will be able to detect traces of marijuana in students even if they used it six to eight hours prior. Therefore, students can be punished for their behavior off of school property. If a student is found to have drugs in their system, the school is required by law to notify the police. This can result in a ten day suspension, which can be lessened if the student seeks clinical help outside of school.

That being said, the use of non-prescribed drugs is illegal, regardless of whether or not they were being used out of school and in the vicinity of one’s own home. This new testing method will be helpful in maintaining the moral principles and integrity of South, as well as upholding our standing as a first-rate education institution.

Students that are under the influence are putting themselves in harms way by hindering their academic career and potentially setting themselves up for failure in the future. Not only will they be struggling to keep up in high school, but once they hit college and are experience new levels of freedom, they may find themselves slipping further and further down the rabbit hole.

Drug use can also be found to be a distraction in the classroom to others, penalizing those who have done nothing wrong. Moreover, with South having an open campus lunch, it is more likely that a student will get behind the wheel while under the influence, becoming a danger to all on the roads. The on-site test may serve as a reminder and a deterrent to those who are contemplating coming to school high, giving them a bit more self-restraint. Overall, the policy demonstrates the promise of improving South’s impressive learning environment for all students.

This new testing method will only affect a small percentage of the school’s population, particularly upperclassmen. The administration merely wants to guarantee a safe, drug-free campus, even if their tactics of doing so raise a few questions and concerns. Students have nothing to worry about, as long as they are taking care of themselves.

Photo Credit: The Tower

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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