Students in a Kansas middle school were humiliated after officials removed large chunks of their hair to comply with the school’s drug test policy.
Phillipsburg, KS — The parents of children at a middle school in Kansas are likely regretting their decision to allow the school to drug test their students this week after their children came home with large patches of missing hair. The hair was used in the random drug testing process of 11 to 14-year-old children.
The school district is now on the defensive after multiple students complained to their parents about the hack jobs they received as the state searched their bodies for illegal substances.
Hopefully, this situation allows the parents realize the err of their ways and take note of what happens when you ask the state to parent your children.
Superintendent Mike Gower spoke to KWCH and said the district recognized the problem of officials cutting large sections of children’s hair out and is addressing it.
Gower said the district started random drug testing last year after parents voiced concern about middle and high school students using drugs.
They requested the hair follicle testing because it can show whether someone has been using drugs back 90 days.
Gower said the company usually takes 100 to 120 strands of hair – the diameter of a pencil.
Instead of a tiny bit of hair, however, kids had large sections of their hair removed to test for drugs—a frightening notion indeed.
According to Kansas.com, the district requires students and parents sign a “Student Drug Testing Policy” at the beginning of each school year if they want to participate in or attend school-sponsored activities, according to the consent form. Gower said this is the district’s second year with that policy.
The school board is now apologizing to the students and the parents for this sickening display
“I’m not going to throw the company under the bus or the board or anybody else,” said Gower. “I’m the superintendent, what happens here is on me. I apologize to those kids and those parents. We’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The state playing the role of parent in this situation is definitely a slippery slope. Making sure kids don’t take drugs that can harm them is the job of a parent. Parents relying on the state to do this for them are surrendering their responsibilities and embarking down a dark path.
If schools are serious about keeping their students from abusing drugs, as the ACLU points out, then they should listen to the experts – to the National Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – who all say that one of the best ways to keep kids off drugs is to get them involved in school and extra-curricular activities. Instead of putting up barriers like drug testing, schools should engage students in meaningful activities.
What’s more, there is no evidence showing that randomly drug testing students does anything to deter drug use and it does nothing to address what’s causing kids from doing drugs in the first place. As this case illustrates, it only serves to humiliate children as their hair is removed.
Proponents of these measures claim that students are getting into drugs at an increasing rate. However, one aspect of this whole situation that is often overlooked is the fact that many students take drugs because public school is so traumatizing and torturous. Many students seem to take drugs simply to make the day go faster while they are in a place that closely resembles a prison.
If young adults are taking drugs in their teenage years, and it becomes damaging or unhealthy, there is obviously a reason and a root cause for their drug abuse. This is not a problem that can be solved with punishments and lectures, but rather, is a problem that can only be solved by targeting the depression, anxiety and pressure that young adults experience in this society.
If you are a student or parent who wishes to fight this most invasive policy, you can. As the ACLU points out, any student can express his or her discomfort with drug testing. Depending on the laws in your state, you not only have the right to vocally oppose drug testing, but you may also have a right to legally challenge drug testing in your school. In order for a school to implement a drug testing policy, there must usually be reasonable suspicion that you, as an individual, are using drugs. Unless you are an athlete, the fact that some students may be using drugs may not be enough to allow a public school to drug test you!
The implications of a government violating the sanctity of a child’s body to search for “illegal” substances are grave, to say the least. Imagine the horrid society that would result from children who consider government claiming the right to know the content of their bodies as “normal.” A Brave New World, indeed.