Implementation of an Aggressive Random Drug-Testing Policy in a Rural School District: Student Attitudes regarding Program Fairness and Effectiveness

By Evans, Garret D.; Reader, Steven et al. | Journal of School Health, November 2006 | Go to article overview

Implementation of an Aggressive Random Drug-Testing Policy in a Rural School District: Student Attitudes regarding Program Fairness and Effectiveness


Evans, Garret D., Reader, Steven, Liss, Heidi J., Wiens, Brenda A., Roy, Antara, Journal of School Health


In their efforts to reduce illicit drug use among students, many school districts have implemented random, suspicionless drug-testing (RDT) programs. The modest but steady growth of these programs (1,2) was spurred on by 2 US Supreme Court decisions over the past decade (1995 Vernonia School District v Acton and 2002 Earls v Tecumseh School District) that upheld the use of school RDT policies. Despite these rulings, serious debate continues regarding their appropriateness. Critics cite concerns about the potential for civil rights violations, unclear or unsupported criteria for determining which student populations are at high risk of using drugs, test accuracy, cost ($15-$100 per test), and the effectiveness and relative efficiency of RDT programs as compared to other prevention efforts. (1,3-5) Proponents argue that RDT programs offer schools a more aggressive approach to drug prevention than common risk-and resiliency-based programs and that anecdotal evidence suggests that RDT leads to less overall drug use among students, thus reducing opportunities for drug-use and peer pressure effects.(2,6,7)

Effectiveness of Drug Testing in Schools

Examinations of the effectiveness of RDT programs have produced mixed results. (8,9) In their examination of data from the Youth, Education, and Society and Monitoring the Future studies, Yamaguchi et al found no relationship between the presence of RDT and past 12-month marijuana or other illicit drug use for the overall student populations of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, male student athletes, or students indicating they had used marijuana within the past 12 months. (2) While critics have hailed these results as clear evidence that RDT is ineffective, (10) the authors noted several limitations in study methodology that greatly moderate such conclusions: the cross-sectional design meant that causality between RDT and substance use could not be determined; a single school administrator reported on drug-testing issues, while student reports of awareness and views on drug testing were not solicited; and the use of a 12-month reporting period when students could only be tested during 9 of those months (eg, students could restrict use to summer months when testing was not provided).

Conversely, Goldberg et al examined pilot data from the Student Athlete Testing Using Random Notification (SATURN) project at 2 Oregon high schools (1 experimental and 1 control site). (11) Their results indicated that past 30-day illicit drug and ergogenic (performance enhancing) use significantly decreased for athletes in the drug-testing school as compared to the control school, which experienced an increase in substance use across both categories. While the SATURN project's design allowed for causal interpretation supporting the effectiveness of RDT, generalizability of these results is limited by the small sample and the lack of random assignment to treatment conditions.

Attitudes, Implementation, and Effectiveness

The SATURN project findings were somewhat contradictory with regard to outcome and attitudinal variables. Despite reductions in substance use, those in the drug-testing group believed that there were fewer benefits of RDT and fewer negative consequences of drug use, that authority figures were more tolerant of substance use, that their peers engaged in more substance use, and that they demonstrated a greater attitudinal preference for risky drug-use behavior as compared to athletes in the control group. Each of these attitudes can be categorized as a risk factor for increased substance use, thus raising the question of whether RDT may decrease short-term substance use while sowing the seeds for longer term increases.

To date, the SATURN project has provided the only attempt to investigate student attitudes regarding implementation of a new RDT policy. Student attitudes toward RDT are likely to be critical factors affecting the implementation of drug-testing policies that are often seen as controversial by students, parents, and other community stakeholders. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Implementation of an Aggressive Random Drug-Testing Policy in a Rural School District: Student Attitudes regarding Program Fairness and Effectiveness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.