Wrong ruling on drug tests

Do random drug and alcohol tests really infringe an athletes rights?

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 4:03pm
  • Sports

Do random drug and alcohol tests really infringe an athletes rights?

Strike another one down for lack of common sense.

Last week, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that high schools in our state cannot randomly drug test student athletes.

Other states allow this, but our court ruled that the tests would violate the state constitution.

The case stems from a 1999 situation involving students from the Wahkiakum School District in Southwest Washington. Those athletes sued the school district, upset that they were requiring students to submit to the tests to participate in sports.

Let’s first get facts straight that we can all agree on. Consuming alcohol under the age of 21 in Washington state is against the law. Using illicit drugs in Washington state is against the law.

Now that we agree on what’s illegal, we can all hopefully agree that drug and alcohol abuse is a problem with some young people in our state.

So why all the bellyaching?

I don’t believe passing a drug and alcohol test should be a condition required of students to participate in sports, but I have no problem with random tests during the season. Lest we forget, passing a drug test is often a requirement of employment. Why should sports be any different?

I just don’t see the negatives.

Most high schools have some sort of “Athletic Honor Code” that students are expected to abide by. These often state the obvious – obey the law, stay away from drugs and alcohol. It’s effectiveness is in the writing.

I see it as just another reason for kids to avoid the bad stuff. I’ve heard than more than one instance in our community of kids getting kicked off teams after indiscretions. Heck, I’ve been a part of more than one team where that’s happened.

Here’s the thing about kids; they can hide stuff. Crazy, I know. Think back to when you were growing up – surely you did things your parents never found out about. With a random test, kids who may have drug or alcohol abuse problems can get the help they need.

I’ve always thought sports to be a wonderful outlet for kids, a way to do something positive. If a random test helps a kid stay on the straight and narrow, I’m all for it.

Besides, what have we got to lose? Keeping kids out of trouble? Helping those that might need it?

Maybe we should give the State Supreme Court a drug test.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Corulli runs wild in Newport victory

Newport sophomore Zachary Corulli literally tore up the turf while notching four… Continue reading

t
Bellevue blanks Interlake, 3-0, in girls soccer

Bellevue junior Kendall Serres, left, battles Interlake senior Audrey Doran for the… Continue reading

Mount Si’s Andy Cole tackles Bellevue’s Ishaan Daniels on March 12 after a lengthy run during Bellevue’s first possession of the second half, which resulted in a touchdown. Mount Si won, 23-13. In volleyball action on March 8, Bellevue defeated Newport, 3-0. Pictured for Bellevue (3-0) are Brooke Huard, left, and Kaitlyn Watson. Photos courtesy of Stephanie Ault Justus
Bellevue teams hit the gridiron and volleyball court

Mount Si’s Andy Cole tackles Bellevue’s Ishaan Daniels on March 12 after… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

Bellevue alum becomes highest-paid safety in NFL history
Bellevue alum becomes highest-paid safety in NFL history

Budda Baker, 24, was winning at Bellevue High School before he was with the Arizona Cardinals.

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices
Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports
WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.