« Court Limits Use of Race in School Assignments | Main | Scripted vs. Spontaneous Lessons »

States Reluctant to Mandate Steroid Testing


Just three states—Florida, New Jersey, and Texas—mandate testing high school athletes for use of performance-enhancing drugs under new laws aimed at curbing growing steroid abuse among students, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. A handful of other states have laws prohibiting steroid use, but no testing requirement to identify violators.

But state lawmakers around the country have been reluctant to take up such measures, which are seen as costly and difficult to implement, and tend to spark legal battles. State athletic associations and local school districts have been left to take up the mantle, and several have created educational and testing programs to address steroid abuse among student athletes.

What role should state legislatures, state associations, and school districts play in overseeing and funding steroid prevention efforts? How should laws prohibiting the use of performance-enhancing drugs be monitored and enforced?


State legislatures consistently prohibit the posession, the selling, and the use of steroids. This is a matter of illegal drug use and distribution. This is the realm and responsibility of law enforcement, not school districts or teachers. School districts are not governments and teachers are not police. Schools do not enact laws, nor should they be required to enforce laws.
Athletic associations do make rules about performance enhancing drugs and have some jurisdiction over testing student athletes. Enforcing such rules is a matter of suspending or barring the student athlete from competition. Suspected drug use of any kind should be referred to local and state police agencies for investigation.
The role of the schools is educational. Schools and their coaches should educate student athletes about the dangers and consequences of steroid use. Any school employee that suspects illegal substance use should report the matter to the chain of command and the schools should report the matter to law enforcement. Beyond reporting suspected steroid use and barring student athletes from competition because of steroid use, schools have no more authority in the matter.

I agree that schools serve to educate and not enforce laws however, I also believe that the schools have a responsibility to the students and community to do everything they can to support their athletes to be healthy and safe. I suggest that schools support a random drug/steroid testing progrom for their athletes and all students involved in extracurricular activities. Although all students would not be tested the fear of getting dismissed from a sport might curb the use of drugs/steroids. I think that it's a reasonable start to support the health of our students. I also embrace testing for just cause and suspicion of drug/steroid use. As educators, we can share with students and parents the negative effects of drug/steroid use but some 'just don't care' unless they risk being taken off the team.

Current law in most states allows for random drug testing of student athletes, but does not allow general testing. Some states allow a one-time test, but if that is negative, no further testing can be done. Due process should be followed in all drug cases. Schools are not set up to act as legal subsystems within a community. Suspicious behavior does require action however. In some areas students are suspended for having tobacco or any other drugs in their possession on campus. Students may also be charged in criminal court for possession, but this requires referral to the proper authority. The safest and surest way for schools to combat drug use is to make clear policies and enforce those policies.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • Bob Frangione: Current law in most states allows for random drug testing read more
  • Dr. B. Lentine, Adj.Prof; Educator; Prev BOE Member; Parent: I agree that schools serve to educate and not enforce read more
  • Bob Frangione Teacher/parent: State legislatures consistently prohibit the posession, the selling, and the read more




Technorati search

» Blogs that link here