An eager reader shares a print copy of the Thursday, December 12, Black Hills Pioneer indicating that the Spearfish School District is considering imposing drug testing on students in extracurricular activities. Principal Steve Morford told the school board that no school in South Dakota does this yet, and it sounds like, if Superintendent Kirk Easton has his choice, Spearfish won’t become the first:
A concern that has been brought up is should the policy be adopted, fewer students may want to participate in activities.
“We prefer to have kids in activities, so that was just one concern that a policy committee member had expressed. That’s our ultimate goal. We find that kids that are involved in activities do better in school, so why put something in place that might deter them from doing that?” Easton asked.
…Easton also mentioned that it seems schools have become disciplinarians for society and this is just another thing that the school is looking to police… [author and title not included in the screen cap sent to me! but it’s in the Black Hills Pioneer, 2019.12.12, p. 18].
Students and parents are rightly concerned that the schools would impose another unwarranted search and seizure, especially when this search invades their children’s bodies. Wanting to debate or sing or play volleyball does give probable cause to justify a search warrant.
Besides, as Governor Noem swears, we don’t have money for any new things in school, so we don’t have money for new invasions of privacy. Drug tests cost $55 a pee. There are about 1,300 kids in Spearfish High School and Middle School. If half of them participate in activities, that’s about $36,000 Spearfish will have to spend sniffing their kids’ potty.
I’m not for drugs. I’m all for policies that bench players if they break the law. But among the civics lessons we can teach our kids is that they enjoy some Fourth Amendment rights, too, and that they shouldn’t have to surrender those rights every time they want to travel, work, or play ball.