During this week’s Park City School Board meeting, a draft policy of the district’s proposed drug policy was presented. While drug testing for Park City students has not been approved, now is the time to provide any objections. One of our major concerns is student privacy.
The district policy describes who will have the results of the drug testing. It says:
- Information regarding the results of the drug tests shall be kept confidential among the building principal, designees, any employee with a need to know, the student’s parent or legal guardian, and the student.
Unfortunately, nowhere in the draft policy does is mention the word privacy. The only time it speak to confidentiality of results is the above bullet point.
Let us give you an example of our fear. Let’s say Johnny Smith plays wide receiver for the Miners Football team. On Monday he gets pulled out of class for a random drug test. He fails. He is then suspended for two football games. Sure, officially only the Principal, the Assistant Principal, a school counselor, and his coaches know that he has been suspended for failing a drug test. However, it doesn’t take a genius for his classmates to figure out he failed a test (why isn’t he playing in these two games?). Then various people at school turn to social media and post that Johnny failed his drug test. Then the whole school knows. Then so do colleges that wanted to recruit Johnny for football … or maybe it’s the college admission officer who is reviewing his application for Westminster.
We just don’t see how the school can protect our students’ privacy. They can’t outlaw freedom of speech — especially when it’s true. We don’t have to look much farther than last year’s security scare at the high school, to see how fast and far social media spreads.
Messing with kids’ lives in order to have the appearance of “doing something” is a horrible approach. We hope the school district stops this madness immediately.