What If: Student Athletes Were Randomly Drug Tested

MattieCrabtree, Staff Writer

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Being a student athlete is a privilege. Students must have good standing grades, a good work ethic and stay for practices after school five days a week. Although many student athletes stay out of trouble outside of sports, imagine if the school was to randomly drug test athletes.

Think if we did a random drug test on the student athletes. It could be an eye-opening experience to a lot of them. Being in high school, you can easily find yourself doing things you might regret or later think, “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”  Many schools in our league are debating if they should randomly drug test their athletes just to be safe rather than sorry if something was to happen.  Others feel like it is an invasion of privacy.  

“Possibly randomly drug testing [athletes] could encourage anyone who could be using drugs to stop or prevent others from ever making the choice in the first place,” Courtney Costain, 9, said.

The idea of randomly drug testing might be nerve-wracking at first, but the reason behind it would only be to make sure our athletes are healthy and safe enough to play on a sports team for the school.

“I think being drug tested randomly would have its pros and cons for sure. Many athletes might take into consideration their future as a student but also as an athlete if they are wanting to play farther than high school,” Grace Finch, 11, said.

If this was to actually take place, our coaches and administration wouldn’t have to worry about making sure our athletes are focused and are making the best decisions for themselves later on in life.

One of the debates throughout our league is who will pay for the testing? This poses yet another area of concern between athletes, families of athletes and administration. Does the athlete pay if he/she tests positive? This could not only double the consequences on the student but also on the families.

Some may wonder why we would even want to have our athletes randomly drug tested.

Well, one of the benefits of drug testing our athletes would be to make sure they are staying on the right path, have the right mindset for their sport and are staying healthy throughout the season. Another benefit would be keeping a positive atmosphere throughout the community and school. If a student thought they might be tested at any time would they risk giving up playing time or possibly affect college scholarships? It’s definitely something to consider.

When talking to fellow student athletes, it seems that many have the same thoughts. Staying on track with goals to obtain random drug testing would be welcomed to most students.  

“[It would be beneficial] to make sure that athletes are focused fully on school and bettering themselves on their own, without the help from drugs,” Emily Pope, 9, said.

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What If: Student Athletes Were Randomly Drug Tested