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Ohio middle school has mandatory drug testing for all student "sport" activities. Some claim it is unconstitutional. Thoughts?

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(ABC NEWS) -- It takes more than a quick serve to make the girls' volleyball team at Pleasant Middle School in Marion, Ohio. Before becoming a Lady Spartan, each 12- to 13-year-old must first pass a test they all say is a little embarrassing -- a mandatory drug test.

"It's disgusting," said Alexis Klaiber, one of the volleyball players.

"They tell you to go to the restroom and you come out with a cup and it's just really awkward because other people are standing there," Cammy Creeger said. "You had to walk out and sometimes the guys were there."

Drug testing is mandatory at Pleasant Middle School for any student involved in extracurricular activities. Principal Lane Warner said the school tests for "common street drugs" and alcohol at random, and will pull students out of class for drug testing.

Many students said the process is nerve-wrecking.

"He just called your name so you get so scared you're in trouble," said Brooke Flickinger. "So you start freaking out, it's something else, 'OK what have I done that I could get in trouble for?'"

Random drug testing, once reserved for Olympic, college and high school athletes, has become a fact of life for hundreds of kids in their early teens, even pre-teen years, in the United States. Today, school districts in at least nine states require middle school students to undergo drug tests.

Some Lady Spartans at Pleasant Middle School said they thought the drug testing was a good thing.

"I think it's helping to stop [drug use]," Creeger said.

"Because they know they are not going to be eligible for sports," Flickinger said.

But when Alexis Kiederer tried to join her middle school scrapbooking club in Milford, Pa., where drug tests are required for students who want to participate in extracurricular activities, her parents pushed back. They would not give permission for their daughters to take the drug tests, which meant she also couldn't play school sports.

"That was difficult because I wasn't able to play with some of the girls I've been playing with for years, and to be able to make new friendships, gain more experience," Alexis said.

Alexis and her younger sister Meghan were forced to sit out all after-school activities at Delaware Valley Middle School, while their parents took school officials to court. The girls' mother, Kathy Kiederer, said it was worth taking a stand, even if it meant her daughters couldn't participate in the clubs and sports they loved.

"I get that it's easy to pee in a cup, but giving up your constitutional rights just because you can doesn't mean you should," Kiederer said.

Back at Pleasant Middle School, Principal Warner said he believes the mandatory drug testing rule gives students a strong reason to refuse drugs and alcohol under peer pressure. But the bigger concern, he said, is the stories he said he has heard about what some kids are bringing to school.

"Little things that they hide drugs in [and] they carry around with them that look like a normal highlighter-- It was very eye-opening to see that there are so many ways out there," Warner said. "I would like to think it's not a big issue, but I think that's naïve. Kids are exposed to everything."

He said kids in his school district don't have to work hard to get drugs. 

 "Heroin is making a big comeback, it's becoming more popular," Warner said. "It's one of those things that is not extraordinarily expensive, for the user to get, it's pretty accessible."

Warner said random drug testing is working, and there has been just one positive test in six years.

But Pleasant Middle School only tests student athletes -- kids who have big incentives not to get caught.

"Does that mean that every kid is identified or kids are getting away with it? I don't think it means that, it means, in a large part, it's effective," he said. "Parents who have spoken to me about it have always been positive about it... they want to know-- 'if my kids using, I want to know about it.'"

But even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled random drug testing for high school athletes is constitutional, the Kiederers won an injunction that prevented Delaware Valley Middle School from enforcing the policy. It mean Alexis and Meghan Kiederer were allowed to play again, while the issue went to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.

"Clubs or after-school activities are normally a way for kids to not be involved in drugs," Kathy Kiederer said. "It gives them something to do after school versus going home to an empty house and maybe getting into things they shouldn't be getting into."

Kiederer argued there are better ways to teach children about drugs.

"Throwing up the barrier of having to be drug tested for it might prevent those kids from even trying out," she said.

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Replies (31-40):
by Ruby Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I don't agree that it's targetted at sports kids. Aren't all the other kids important too?

by Ruby Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 7:56 PM

THIS is invasive. I've taken many urine tests, as part of drug testing, pregnancy, etc. It's not invasive. If you're not doing drugs then it shouldn't be a problem.

Quoting momtoscott:

Wow.  That seems excessive.  It's going to discourage more kids from doing extracurriculars than catch drug users, I would think.  When I was in middle school, I didn't use drugs or alcohol, but I would have never wanted to take a test like this.  I would have dropped an activity at that time rather than consent to something so personally invasive.  

by HRH of MJ on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I don't support mandatory or random drug testing at all, for employment, school, PA...none of it. Unless there is probable cause. As far as my kids doing drugs, I'm the parent and will handle that with dh, if it ever comes up. I wouldn't say, not my kid, but we have enough experience and knowledge that one of us would catch on pdq.


Thank's Friday!!!

by Ruby Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Why not require drug tests for all students? To single out those that participate in extra curricular activities is discriminatory. To require urine sample to join a scrapbooking club is beyond laughable. 

Some of it could be due to liability if the student gets injured, but I agree it's silly to be drug tested for allactivities.  

by Gold Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't really have a problem with it. Kids lie, and so many parents have no clue what their kids are doing.

Plus, participating in a sport is a priveledge in my opinion. Follow the rules. All my kids are in sports. It would be fine wiht me. I know mine are on the straight and narrow- I know others who aren't. Fine, then remove the priveledge if they break the rules.


by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM
I has to drug test to get one of my scholarships. That was in 2000

Quoting TranquilMind:

What, seriously?   

That's ridiculous, and discriminatory to drug test only athletes and students in extracurriculars, but not other students. 

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by Destiny on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:13 PM

This school only tests their athelites, but as this story mentioned, another school tests any child that wants to participate in school clubs or activities. I would be all for that. 

Quoting EireLass:

I don't agree that it's targetted at sports kids. Aren't all the other kids important too?

by Gold Member on Apr. 10, 2013 at 12:24 AM
I think this is just crazy personally! What is this supposed to accomplish? And how does he know that this has worked? Plus the fact that kids that play sports are much less likely to do drugs.
by Destiny on Apr. 10, 2013 at 12:49 AM

It truly amazes me how many people have an issue with this. Did you have an issue when you had to test to gain a job? I am guessing no. Why would you be against anything that deters kids from drugs and alcohol in school? If you consent in order to be eligible, no rights are violated. If you refuse because you would test positive? You shouldn't be there to begin with. 

by Member on Apr. 10, 2013 at 5:04 AM
While I don't like the idea of drug tests (if you are able to perform in school/at work as expected, what you do on your own time is your own business), it's just a risk you take. I'm an RN, I got drug tested during school, got drug tested for my job, and I could be randomly tested anytime my hospital chooses to. My job is a bit different though...I handle narcotics everyday at work, some pretty serious ones and it wouldn't be that hard to divert. At the same time, being in an athletic club, you are representing your school. No school wants a student representing them that also does drugs, no matter how recreationally. If they are so put off by these drug tests...they are probably doing drugs. I have the most ridiculously shy bladder and usually take at least an hour to produce a urine sample for drug testing, but it still isn't a big deal to me because, dun dun dun...I don't do drugs.
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