AirTalk for November 26, 2012

Does Santa Clarita Valley’s drug testing program violate privacy rights?

San Francisco Patients Smoke Marijuana

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During the 2011-2012 school year, 63 of the 1,952 students who were enrolled in CADRE tested positive, Hunter told the newspaper. The most common drug found was marijuana, but other drugs were detected.

The Santa Clarita Valley school district has implemented a drug testing program in their junior and senior high schools. The program allows parents to opt their child in for random, free, on-campus drug tests.

So far, more than 2,000 students participate, about one tenth of the districts middle and high school students – and the program administrators are looking to expand. While random drug testing for student athletes and participants in certain extra-curricular activities is not uncommon, Santa Clarita’s Comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Reduction and Education (CADRE) program is believed to be the only one of its kind in the U.S.

The ACLU and other civil rights activists are skeptical though, questioning how it could be truly voluntary, and whether the program violates children’s privacy rights. If a student were to refuse testing, even with their parent’s consent, the district could face legal challenges.

Should students be subjected to drug-testing programs their parents opt into? Do programs like CADRE violate children’s privacy rights? Is random drug testing the best way to prevent drug use in teens?


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