The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

College’s drug testing foolish

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

When I worked at a summer camp, part of the training week was a drug test.

Not surprisingly, it’s part of working in a field where being under the influence of drugs can cause a major problem.

But a drug test simply to go to class is a whole other ballgame. That’s what Linn State Technical College in Missouri tried to do.

This policy needs a common sense test.

So: Should Linn State Technical College, a two-year school in Missouri, administer a mandatory drug test to all incoming freshmen?

The college says tests would prepare students for a drug-free workplace and increase safety in aircraft maintenance, heavy engine repair, nuclear technology and other dangerous classes.

Q. Does the school have a high drug-usage rate?

A. No, college officials said they don’t believe the college has a higher-than-usual drug usage rate.

Q. Do all students enrolled at the college work in the dangerous areas?

A: No, many are pursuing general academic degrees like accounting, math and social sciences.

Q. Do drug tests scheduled “five to 10 days after the semester starts” ensure safety?

A: No, many drugs aren’t detectable for very long. Cocaine and heroin are only detectable in fluid tests for one to two days, methamphetamines for two to four days and marijuana for two to five days. Students who use drugs can stay clean for just a few days then continue usage. And the test does nothing to detect the students who experiment after the test.

Q. Are drug tests in college a good way to prepare students for drug tests at work?

A: No, most students today are working before they are out of high school, and chances are many have had a drug test before ever enrolling in college. And what’s to prepare for anyway?

Score: Fail.

Testing student-athletes for steroids – good.

Testing bad drivers for alcohol – smart.

Testing every student in the school for drugs  – stupid.

Hopefully, the court will agree. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against Linn State, and a judge has placed a temporary restraining order on the tests.

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