Drug Follicle Hair Testing- the Uproar Over Student Rights

Although drug follicle hair testing isn’t new, the new means of using the technology has many communities wondering where student rights stand.

Recently, private high schools and many public ones are using drug follicle hair testing technologies to screen students for drugs and alcohol. Public schools get away with the controversial test by making it mandatory only for students participating in extracurricular activities and sports.

Drug Follicle Hair Testing Explained

A series of assessments called FAEE, fatty acid ethyl esters and EtG alcohol testing are done to measure the amount of FAEE and EtG markers that are revealed in the drug follicle hair test. The more alcohol a person has consumed, the more markers will be present on a test. With only a pencil thickness amount of hair cut from the scalp, a drug and hair alcohol testing laboratory can find out what a person’s approximated consumption of alcohol has been up to a 30 day history and if the hair sample is longer, as much as a year of alcohol consumption can be tested.

Recently, the private school, Bishop Kelly High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma decided to approve mandatory drug testing for every student. Because the school is a private school and not a public school, the school can decide to do things a little differently. Due to recent anonymous survey given to its students, the school found that there was indeed a problem among some of its current students. The drug follicle hair testing was then implemented, with the cost of test, around $60 each passed onto the parents. The drug follicle hair testing is a random selection of the student body. No legal action will be taken to any student that happens to come up positive for drugs or alcohol but a counseling session will be required with the parents to see if help can be administered before legal action is needed. The second time the same person is found having abused drugs or alcohol, the student will be asked to leave the school.

What Message Are Teachers and Parents Sending to Their Kids?

Several legal professionals besides outraged kids and parents think that the country was founded on the basis that people were free to make their own choices and that mandatory testing like this already sends a message to students that “you are not trusted” and therefore have to be set under a microscope. This lack of privacy goes against so much of what our country is founded on. Some parents wonder if students will go to extremes to try and deter a potentially positive test result by shaving their heads, drinking harmful solutions or volunteer to quit a school in defense.

Some schools have decided that with $60 per student it is a lot of money and have decided to hire full time security guards to monitor student activity. Other schools have found great success with a solution like drug follicle hair testing for several reasons:

The test is less evasive than a urine or saliva test

Less likely to be tampered with

The test prevents students from experimenting on the weekends

$60 is worth a year’s worth of evidence

Drug follicle hair testing is quite remarkable, and now alcohol detection in hair is available to schools where it wasn’t a possibility before. The great news about this kind of testing is that it isn’t just to send students into fits of rage, it is also a tool to help police with evidence for drunk drivers, it can be a tool for coaching alcoholics and drunk addicts on the road to recovery and can ensure that employers hire the safest and most sober employees possible- now that is good news.

Leave a Reply