Some school districts are initiating policies that would require school teachers and other school employees to be subject to random drug and alcohol testing.
Teachers in Graham County, North Carolina were supposed to have random testing starting. However, legal action blocked the start date and has opened up this issue for discussion. Other school districts in the US are in the process of implementing random drug testing for teachers.
The main issue here is should random drug and alcohol testing should be required of all teachers and school employees. While one would hope that those in charge of our children during the day were not drug users, the reality is that some teachers are. Federal law is very clear about selling drugs near schools.
Schools are supposed to be drug-free zones. The fact is that drug use impairs one’s ability to make sound judgments. Should someone in an impaired state be responsible for the safety and well being of our children?
Random drug testing for teachers raises interesting issues. Teachers claim that random drug testing will pull them out of the classroom when they are trying to prepare for testing. Others claim it is a violation of privacy.
There are administrators that claim random drug testing will not solve any problems but will raise costs. If rules are passed requiring public school teachers to be subjected to random drug testing, will this rule extend to private schools, home schools, and other non-public education?
Others are in favor of random drug testing for teachers. These include parents, teachers and people in the community. Most government employees are subject to random drug testing of some sort.
Teachers should not be the exception to the rule. School employees and teachers are in charge of our country’s most precious resource – our children. If the US wishes to stay competitive in the global marketplace, our children’s schools must remain drug-free.
This drug-free policy needs to be extended to school employees, teachers and administrators as well as to the students. How to effectively administer a random drug testing policy can be a difficult issue.
Drug testing has its merits from a financial perspective as well. Drug users miss more work than non-users. They tend to have higher health care costs.
Drug users are more likely to have on the job accidents and are more likely to have issues with students requiring intervention by an administrator or legal department. Random drug testing for teachers should be a tool that school districts use to improve the quality of education.
Currently, several counties in Kentucky have random drug testing for teachers. Similar laws are being challenged in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Hawaii.
The issue of random drug testing for teachers has come about because there appears to be an increased amount of drug and alcohol use among teachers and school employees. This is not to imply that all teachers are drug users.
Most teachers are drug-free and sober. It is the few who are not that are causing these issues to be raised.