On Mandatory Drug Testing in School: Are you in Favor or Not?

THE WORSENING DRUG ABUSE in the country can be gleaned from the fact that in 1972,  there were only 20,000 drug users in the Philippines. In 2004, this figure has climbed to an astounding 6.7 million. Methamphetamine hydrochloride or "shabu" and marijuana are the illegal drugs preferred by one in every 29 Filipinos aged 10 to 44 years. According to the Dangerous Drugs Board, 325,000 children were using illegal substance, particularly rugby. 
             As our Government continues to fight and eradicate the supply and demand of illegal drugs in the country, is mandatory drug testing in schools part of the solution?
Possible Reasons for the affirmative side
1. The main purpose of mandatory school drug testing is not to catch kids using drugs, but to prevent them from ever using drugs, illegal or not. 
2. Students’ age is crucial. Once teenagers are using drugs, it is much harder for them to break their addiction.
3. Students will stop using illegal drugs for fear of getting caught.
4. It will increase students’ awareness on how dangerous illegal drugs are.
5. Students who are positive in the drug test will be given a chance to rehabilitation.


Possible Reasons for the negative side

1. It will violate the students’ constitutional rights against self-incrimination and unlawful searches and seizures as well as the right of the child to be protected in his or her person, effects, presumption of innocence and correspondence.
2. There is no conclusive evidence to show that drug tests in schools were successful in discouraging drug abuse.
3. It will be costly on the part of the Governmentwhich finances the public schools.
4. The unit of analysis in addressing the endemic drug problem should be focused on the institutional roots of the problem, not on the potential and most vulnerable victim of the drug menace: the Filipino child.
5. Anti-drug measures should be fully compliant with international and constitutional standards upholding, promoting, and protecting the rights of the child.
The Contributors/Online Moderators:
Camille Angelica B. Gonzales graduated from Marian School of Quezon City and New Era University-Highschool. She is her family’s interior designer and a certified iced tea lover.
Kristine Joy E. Romero is from Deparo Elementary School and Deparo High School. She describes her self as “simple and that’s all.”
Ivy Joyce De Pedro went to New Era Elementary School , Dagat-Dagatan Elementary School , Macario B. Asistio Sr. High School , and University of the East – Caloocan. She considers herself as having “normal weight but of a tiny height.”
Raymar Mendez graduated from Balucoc Elementary School and Frances High School. He introduces himself as “the indeterminate one.”
Rencie Alyssa Acejo is an alumna of GeneralMaximo Hizon Elementary School and Holy Heart Christian Academy. She loves going to the mall with her cousin.

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