December 30, 2012

Middle schoolers being given drug tests

NY Times - Olympic athletes must submit urine samples to prove they are not doping. The same is true for Tour de France cyclists, N.F.L. players, college athletes and even some high school athletes. Now, children in grades as low as middle school are being told that providing a urine sample is required to play sports or participate in extracurricular activities like drama and choir.

Such drug testing at the middle school level is confounding students and stirring objections from parents and proponents of civil liberties.

It is difficult to gauge how many middle schools conduct drug tests on students. States with middle schools that conduct drug testing include Florida, Alabama, Missouri, West Virginia, Arkansas, Ohio, New Jersey and Texas.

There are no known instances of a middle school student testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or human growth hormone. The few positive results among middle school students have been attributed to marijuana, officials said, and even those cases are rare.

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