Honors English 10
Affirmative Debate Random Drug Tests Should Be Mandatory For The Safety Of Students With the legalization and the associated acceptance of marijuana, drug usage in high school students (Grades 812) is on the rise. My colleague and I agree that with the implementation of RSDTs (random student drug tests), a safer environment is created, students are more likely to succeed, and prevention will be effective within an educational setting. RSDTs are shown to lower the usage of illicit drugs in schools, ultimately keeping students safe and protected from the dangers of drug use. Contention 1: Safer environments
Drugs aren’t a stand alone issue in schools. Often times, they lead to bigger, more substantial issues including criminal behavior, violence, and teen pregnancy.
Futurueofchildren.org states “Juvenile offenders have high rates of substance use; among adolescents detained for criminal offending in 2006, 56 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls tested positive for drugs.” This shows the correlation between the two, linking illicit drug use to criminal activity and ultimately unsafe environments.
In a study conducted on 83 high schools across America, principals reported that when RSDTs were no longer conducted in schools, drug and alcohol abuse went up in 85% of schools. After doing away with RSDTs in these schools, expulsions over violent actions increased significantly, jumping from 352 occurrences during the 19992001 school year to
518 the following semester. In addition, NCADD.org claims that more than 95% of violent
crimes that occur on campus are committed by people under the influence of alcohol or another 6judgementimpairing substance.
Drug and alcohol use in adolescents is linked to teen pregnancy as well as the spreading of STDs. A recent study done by The National Center On Addiction And Substance
Abuse has shown that “Teens 15 and older who use drugs are five times likelier to have sex and three times likelier to have it with four or more partners than those who [don’t use drugs]”.
The United States has the highest rate of STDs and pregnancy in girls aged 1519 in the developed world. Add in the factors of drugs and alcohol, such impaired reasoning ability and questionable consent, and the end situation is not typically one that results in ‘happily ever after’. Random student drug tests educate the youth as well as prevents further drug use in schools. By performing RSDT’s the students who choose not to use drugs are minimally impacted, and those who choose to use them are given opportunities to change the path ahead of them.
Contention 2: Successful Students
Experts from Drugabuse.org defend the effectiveness of drug testing by stating that
RSDTs “ will serve as a deterrent and give students a reason to resist peer pressure to take drugs”. 89% of principals who work in Indiana High Schools which run RSDTs believe they offer students a more effective excuse to decline drugs and therefore minimizes the factor of peer pressure, states Joseph R. McKinney, Chair of the Department of Educational
Leadership at Ball State University. By helping to eliminate peer pressure, students are able to grow in their selfconfidence and ability to say ‘no’, which later deters abusive tendencies.
Out of 37,923 students enrolled in 26 different New Jersey schools who run RSDTs, there is a 18% decrease in the dropout rate, higher SAT scores, a 31% lower suspension rate and nearly a 4% higher rate of students passing standardized testing compared to those that don’t drug test students according to C.E Edwards Drug Free Coalition.. Along with random drug tests encouraging students to perform better in a learning environment, statistics from the same source shows that schools that implement drug testing programs see higher percentages of students who go on to institutions of higher