Title: Are drug tests a good way to tackle drug abuse in Hong Kong schools?
I wish to express my opposition to the Hong Kong government's latest approach to juvenile drug abuse --- mandatory drug testing. (deletion) In my opinion, prevention, not detection, is the best solution to this increasingly-serious issue.
Drug testing will inevitably arouse students' and parents' worries about privacy and human rights. (deletion) If drug testing is implemented without strict privacy protection and confidentiality, negative effects are liable to emerge. The readings are not only disclosed to the students themselves, but also to the police, and to teachers, social workers and principals. The more people involved, the higher the possibility of privacy infringement. Students who test positive may well be discriminated against by their peers, as well as by teachers and (deletion) parents. What's worse, those students might be labeled as drug abusers. Consequently, they may become reluctant to go to school and so end up leaning even more heavily on drugs to cope with stress and social disorganization. These are surely not the (deletion) results that the general public expects to see.
Some argue that students who are not involved in drug abuse have nothing to fear. However, it is not being caught that we fear, but the loss of our dignity and the trust we deserve. Drug testing (deletion) assumes that all of us are using drugs until we test negative. This is (deletion) contrary to the legal principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'. I therefore believe drug testing will be harmful to the trust that should exist between students and teachers.
In addition, the effectiveness of drug testing is doubtful. (deletion) No surveys so far have managed to prove drug testing is effective and reliable. On the contrary, there have been a number of findings that show that drug testing does not reduce drug taking. According to the University of Michigan, the abuse rates in schools with drug testing were no better or worse than in schools without it. Under the circumstances, there would seem to be no reason for the government to insist on drug testing. Moreover, there are (deletion) products which students can use to cheat on the tests with ease. The government claims that drug tests are effective; however, with the help of such products, the effectiveness of drug tests still remains questionable and unconvincing.
Drug testing may seem to relieve the problem on the surface, but it triggers (deletion) serious problems such as privacy violations and labeling. In order to cope with juvenile drug abuse, the joint cooperation of the government, the family and the school is a must. I suggest the government (deletion) spend more effort on prevention instead of wasting time on (deletion) costly but questionable drug testing. As most teenagers are not aware of the side effects and seriousness of drug abuse, the government should increase the dissemination of this information. Besides, schools can deliver the correct signal to the students by launching a series of drug abuse prevention education activities. As for parents, they should act as (deletion) role models and teach their children to distinguish right from wrong.
All in all, drug testing is only a band-aid, not an answer. Only by instilling positive values in teenagers can the problem be solved fundamentally.
- For Teachers