Editorial: An Act of Disburdenment

An editorial about random mandatory drug testing in schools. Please read and share.

random mandatory drug testing in schools
An Act of Disburdenment Amid the spate of extrajudicial killings in the current administration’s war on drugs, the signing of DepEd Order No. 40 subjecting high school students of both public and private institutions to random mandatory drug testing rouse fears that they will become open targets of the campaign against illegal drugs. Yes even high school students are now, not spared but in the first place if you are not blameworthy and is acquainted with the guidelines, there is nothing to fear.

Although the Department of Education said that this is to strengthen the government’s effort against illegal drugs, the primary ground for implementation is for prevention and rehabilitation of possible drug users and dependents, and not to harass them. This goes along with the objective of determining the prevalence of users among students, to discourage the use of drugs and to assess the effectiveness of school based programs.

DepEd clarified that students will only be given the drug test under their parents’ consent which goes to an advantageous reason: Parents want what is best for their children. It is assured that the results will be dealt with utmost confidentiality. Unless, of course, these parents use their children as accessories of crime, they might have to abstain but that is yet another matter in need of immediate solution. Should a particular student be chosen randomly, the issue here lays not on the child’s vulnerability but rather to his/her innocence which is generally more relevant.

Upon testing positive, it is only the beginning of the story and not the end. One will be provided with appropriate intervention measures as an effort to address the cause of their habit. This, as a matter of fact, becomes a road map to reinstatement which includes counselling and later treatments. Correspondingly, DepEd says the result will not be grounds for expulsion or disciplinary action against the student. Furthermore, it should not reflect in the student’s academic records or be used to incriminate him/her for further legal actions.

The incident wherein a 17-year-old Senior High School student was killed during a drug operation in Caloocan City jolted the nation for quite some time. This might have been an awakening that even innocent teenagers are not spared. So one might say that drug testing would not likely help students in and of itself. However, considering the favourable conditions that guarantee and respect the students’ rights, privacy, and dignity, your cooperation is deserved as much as how you deserve your well-being. The provisions, in any aspect, disburden the students and their parents and not penalize. #