Drug Testing

Allison Birkhimer, Writer

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Clearing up drug testing

One topic that is bound to bring up some interesting conversations is drug testing. There is tons of controversy around if the drug testing process is completely fair. The whole misunderstanding of drug testing is not only annoying for the people being tested, but also for the person who runs the testing; Mrs. Van Nest. When asked if it is frustrating that there is so much misinformation around the subject, she replied, “Yes! Very much so. It is completely bothersome to me that I put my credential and my livelihood on the line every week, but students or others will believe what they hear in the hallways instead of the policy and my word.”

Mrs. Van Nest is in charge of drug testing and gave us an insight of how it works, “So every student that competes in an extracurricular activity is on a list and is numbered. The number of the athlete on the least changes all the time due to drops and additions and changes to rosters. A student overlooks the shoulder of a secretary who goes to a random number generator online. The student writes down the numbers that come up on the screen in the random number generator. The student never sees what student athlete goes with what number. A secretary then highlights the number that came up with the name attached to the number. We have a second person verify that the highlighted number is in fact the number that came up on the random number generator. Then the student athlete’s schedule is printed and I go to that students class and remove them from class. I only find out who I am testing minutes before I walk into their classroom.” It is a very direct and precise system that picks students randomly.

That brings us into the next subject of people believing that drug testing is directed at certain people who are suspected to be doing drugs. Some seniors have been in sports all of their high school experience and have never been drug tested, while other have been tested four to five times. When asked about this Mrs. Van Nest replied “Sometimes weird coincidences come up. Like one time every student I pulled was in the same class that period, or sometimes all girls, or something all honors students, or sometimes all from one team. It is completely random and you never know what patterns you can find afterwards.”  So, many of the times when students get tested multiple times, or they never get tested, is all just coincidence.

Drug testing to many people is an annoying process, but in reality it is an important part of the athletic system. When asked why it is important Mrs. Van Nest replied “I think it is important to give our student athletes the power to say no. The drug testing policy is not intended to catch everyone who makes poor choices. It is intended to give some power to our students that face peer pressure. It is just one more tool in the toolbox in drug prevention.”

This shows us the their intention is not to catch people, but rather give the students a chance to make better choices. Mrs. Van Nest wants everybody to remember, “Participation in athletics is a privilege and not a right. If someone believes something is unfair there are proper protocols to have their voice be heard. If student athletes don’t want to be held to the higher standard then we do not need them representing our teams.”

Drug testing, BUHS, High school, Stacy Van Nest, drugs, Bishop Schools