Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Drug tests in school might be counterproductive, say activists(FMT)

Urine Tests for students to find out whether they are drug users? When anyone, even our Member of Parliament(MPs) are asked to take urine test - one would understand what it feels like - the invasion of privacy, the lack of trust, the shame, the mental anguish.. 

Currently the law enforcement have the right to ask anyone to take a urine test - BUT to prevent ABUSE - there must be some REASONABLE SUSPICION or rather evidence backed reasonable suspicion for the police and/or law enforcement to ask anyone to provide their urine for drug testing...

In fact, I suggested that a warrant is required, that ought to be issued by Court, for law enforcement to be able to ask anyone to provide urine (or maybe even blood samples or other bodily samples) for drug tests..

Urine or blood tests can also reveal other medical information - that people do have or ought to have a right to keep private. How will we ensure that law enforcement uses the bodily fluid just for the drug test - how will we ensure that the bodily fluid is disposed off and confidentiality is maintained. 

The recent suggestion for urine tests in schools was absurd - and below is a media report where some of my views are also mentioned.

See also:- 

Right to refuse Urine Tests - Warrant by Judge b4 Raids - End publicly suggesting women arrested are 'GROs' or Prostitutes? 

Madpet wants police raids on entertainment businesses that smear women, foreigners stopped(NST)



Drug tests in school might be counterproductive, say activists

Hafizi Harun says targeted urine tests in schools will discourage students from seeking help and being more selective in their drug use.

Schoolchildren might just take the easy option and drop out of school, rather than take a drug test, says Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia president Hafizi Harun.

PETALING JAYA: Several activists and a drug rehabilitation centre have voiced their concerns over a Perak association’s decision to conduct urine test programmes in schools.

Hafizi Harun, president of rehabilitation centre Persatuan Pengasih Malaysia, said conducting urine tests in schools might lead to an increase in the number of expulsions or students dropping out of school.

He said students who are found involved in substance abuse are often expelled or subjected to other disciplinary action, such as detention and exposure of their substance use among peers.

“Students who are using substances will do what they can to avoid testing. Dropping out would be an easy option for them,” Hafizi told FMT.

He added that the shame of testing positive will discourage students from seeking help and turn to substances that are undetectable in regular urine testing.

On Nov 19, the Perak chapter of anti-drug association Pemadam said it would work with the police and the national anti-drug agency to conduct urine screening programmes in schools to curb students’ involvement with substance abuse.

Perak state Pemadam chairman Azlan Helmi was reported saying: “Our approach is not to punish, more to save them from the drug menace.”

However, Charles Hector Fernandez of the Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture organisation (Madpet) said urine tests would damage the reputation of the schools involved.

“Even the parents might be seen as ‘bad’, sending their kids to school with a drug problem,” Fernandez said.

The human rights lawyer added that any authority wishing to conduct urine tests on children must first acquire “explicit consent” from parents or legal guardians.

“Yes, the urine test is legal, but it should only be carried out when there’s reasonable suspicion that the person to be tested has consumed drugs.

“When it comes to children, it cannot be done without explicit parental or legal guardian’s consent,” he added.

Early detection matters

Fouzi Singon of the National Union of the Teaching Profession said the government’s effort to implement an early prevention programme through urine tests should not be viewed negatively.

He added that early detection could save teenage schoolchildren from continued drug use as family members would be notified if the children tested positive in a urine test.

“Counselling can be provided. It only becomes an issue when the parents or families of the children refuse to accept that their child has been found positive for using substances,” Fouzi said. - FMT, 11/12/2023




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