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    Op-Ed by New Jersey Eighth-Grader on Student Privacy and Drug Testing in Schools

    The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey published an opinion piece, “Right of privacy must be guarded,” by Melanie Rose Stefanchik, an eighth-grader. She writes:

    The drug testing of students by the school is an invasion of one’s right of privacy. It disrupts the family’s ability to deal with their personal child’s situation. This is a family matter, not something that the school should be handling.

    There are certain circumstances, however, when the school must deal with it. If the child is creating disruption and it is believed that they may cause harm to themselves or others, then that must be addressed immediately. In which case, the school should be able to handle it.

    The present drug testing procedures do not have any clear cut way to determine when testing is necessary. As a result, many students are tested, randomly, and suffer a tarnished reputation. Even when the test results are negative, students still experience a great deal of humiliation and anxiety. That is why the schools need to be careful. […] Also, in any situation regarding this topic, you cannot use guilt by association because you don’t know what is going on in the student’s life. […]

    Overall, the goal of drug testing in schools should be to help the students, without invading their privacy. You wouldn’t want someone to interfere with your family lifestyles or try to create havoc in your household, so don’t do that to the student’s family either. Follow the golden rule, and don’t invade privacy if you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you. It should be the family’s responsibility so that privacy laws aren’t broken.

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