Random Drug Testing of High School Students Only the Literature Review chapter

Excerpt from Only the Literature Review chapter :

Eleven Literature Reviews Attempt to Show and Support the Hypothesis:

These series of articles explain the history behind random drug-testing as well as the origins behind its support. In an article by James E. Ryan (2000), cases handled by the Supreme Court are examined in order to understand the rights of students in regards to policies. The literature goes on to state the Court has formed a body of rules that governs the constitutional rights that students (or their parents) "can legitimately assert against state and local education officials" (Ryan, 2000). Research over these rights has not been done along with violation rates of these rights. Cases such as "Brown v. Board of Education" and "San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez" lead people to try to analyze the Establishment Clause and the Free Speech Clause, in the school context to prevent abuse of those rights. Random drug-testing has come into scrutiny over student rights violations. Understanding in greater detail what those rights are should shed some light on how if at all random drug-testing is affecting these rights.

In a research article by Shutler (1996), Shutler examined random, suspicionless drug testing on high school athletes and the fourth amendment. Courts decided in favor of violating the fourth amendment in regards to athletes. Shutler explained the effects of the decision and the violation of civil rights some students felt and expressed through denying signing of consent forms. Shutler also mentioned an increase in drug use after randomized drug-testing was allowed by the courts and the repercussions of such decision.

There appears to be a connection with increased drug abuse and increased civil rights violations. The more the courts and the school refuse to understand not only the students, but the rights of students, the higher the rates of drug use. Randomized drug-testing although successful in identifying drug users, is not effective in keeping students from continual drug abuse. "As school districts across the country keep adopting drug testing policies sanctioned by the Vernonia Court, they will do so at the expense of school children's constitutional rights." (Shutler, 1996)

In an article by Cambron-McCabe (2009), students rights are also reviewed to further understand the limits school officials have in conducting certain policies and programs. Random drug-testing as seen in previous articles have led to suspensions and communication between law enforcement. The Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees that no state shall "deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property without due process of law" (Cambron-McCabe, 2009), allows for students procedural due process before they can be expelled or suspended. Schools at times do not follow the guidelines of this amendment and take disciplinary action regardless. The fourth amendment, which provides an individual with right of security with their persons, houses, or papers, often is forego to control student violence and drug use. Courts seem to support these actions with decisions sometimes going in favor of the schools. "In 1995, in Vernonia School District 47'v. Action, the Supreme Court held that a school district's drug policy that required random testing of all athletes did not violate students' Fourth Amendment rights" (Cambron-McCabe, 2009).

In a second article written by Galea (2013), Galea talked about Dupont et al. And their research on mandatory random student drug testing (MRSDT). " The goals of MRSDT are twofold: (i) deterring student substance use by providing students with a reason to decline peers' drug offers and (ii) identifying individual students with substance use problems for referral to appropriate counselling/treatment services" (Galea, 2013). The author went on to discuss the inherent weakness of MRSDT and the assumptions it was derived from. These assumptions proved unsuccessful in reducing adolescent drug use and consisted of viewing drug use as an individual problem instead of one fueled by social environment. Efforts shown to improve social environment, by making it a safe and supportive environment, were more successful than their past counterparts.

II. Attitudes of People

These articles express the attitudes of students being subjected to randomized drug testing and how Americans perceive children. Dudley-Marlin, Jackson, & Stevens (2006) discuss in their article the attitudes Americans have towards children in comparison to other countries like Spain. Their point were to demonstrate the use of ill-conceived policies that cause more harm than good to students in schools and explain the attitudes Americans have towards children. The article expresses the fear and ambivalence adults have to children and the need for children to receive less punitive disciplinary actions. American adults negative attitudes and perceptions towards children and adolescents lead to the conclusion that their negativity may influence school policies and programs. Understanding why adults in America dislike children can help change existing policies to create the positive school environment students need to learn, grow, and remain resistant to drug use.

In an article by Ringwalt et al. (2009) research uncovered study conducted on school-based suspicionless or random drug testing (SRDT). The aim for the current study in the paper was to describe school districts' responses to students' first positive result in districts with SRDT programs. Information was gathered in spring 2005 from 1612 drug prevention coordinators in a "nationally representative sample of 1922 school districts (83.9% response rate), of which 205 districts reported SRDT in high school grades" (Ringwalt et al., 2009). The responses of school staff concerning students who tested positive went from counseling the students to more severe consequences such as contacting law enforcement and removing them from sports teams.

Not enough information came after the subsequent actions by the school staff to lead to a conclusion that this kind of testing decreases adolescent drug use. However, the study did help clarify the need for school staff to receive additional training to deal with students who abuse drugs. With adequate training, ill-advised actions such as notifying law enforcement will be decreased. Along with additional training, effective dissemination of such practices will prevent errors.

III. Cost

These articles explain the cost of randomized-drug testing and the lack of training involved in its execution that lead to further unnecessary spending as well as increased numbers of students being randomly tested. Ringwalt et al. (2008) conducted a study estimating the proportion of the nation's public school districts that had high school grades where random drug testing was performed. Of the school districts surveyed, 14% conducted random drug testing. Further information points to school districts exceeding the allowed limit of random drug testing. "Almost all districts randomly tested athletes, and 65% randomly tested other students engaged in extracurricular activities; 28% randomly tested all students, exceeding the current sanction of the U.S. Supreme Court." (Ringwalt et al., 2008) The study revealed inexperienced personnel who administered the tests. The personnel were ignorant on who should be tested leading to excessive numbers of tested students. This led to over spending of the program and increased costs.

In a research article by Evans et al. (2006) random suspicionless drug-testing has been approved in more and more school, specifically in rural areas. They state that earlier court decisions spurred the increase: "The modest but steady growth of these programs was spurred on by 2 U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past decade (1995 Vernonia School District v Acton and 2002 Earls v Tecumseh School District) that upheld the use of school RDT policies" (Evans et al. 2006). Again, examination of the effectiveness of RDT yielded mixed results with critics stating tests were often costly and generated possible risk for civil rights violations. Students were also reported to continue marijuana use after being tested, leading to believe RDT is ineffective.

However athletes subjected to RDT demonstrated decreased rates of drug use. Another predictor found in the study was student's view on the policy. Students not participating in drug use saw the policy as fair. Students who abused drugs saw it as unfair. This article helps shed light on how RDT may affect students reactions to the policy and what indicators may help predict student drug use.

IV. Religion/Other Influences

These articles explain how religion, funding, and public opinion influence support for randomized drug testing. Blackwell & Grasmick (1997) discussed in their article random drug testing and how religion plays a role in its policy formation. Religion plays a supportive role to public policy and justice by shaping public opinion and generating the perceived "urgency" for drug abuse intervention. Their look in Protestant conservatism led to the constructed context surrounding drugs. Drugs were given an "evil" image and made people associated with drugs receive the same meaning.

This article helps to provide background to why randomized drug testing has become so important to policy makers in fighting drug abuse. It helps identify the source of support for randomized drug testing, Protestant conservatism. "Conservative Protestants, compared to liberal-moderate Protestants, Catholics, and those with no affiliation, display higher levels of normative-based support for random drug testing" (Blackwell & Grasmick, 1997) It also shows the context surrounding the support by providing the reader with information concerning how people with religious ideals view drugs.

In a research article…

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