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Head to Head: Drug Testing at the Hebrew Academy

As part of the Hebrew Academy Student Handbook, high schoolers must agree to participate in drug testing at any given time, along with locker searches. However, many students feel that mandatory drug testing should not be included in the school rules for a wide range of reasons.

Is institutionalized drug testing good for the Hebrew Academy? Read on to see what some of our students think in a special head-to-head feature.

For Sure 

By: Michal Cohen (12th Grade)


Drug testing is necessary at the Hebrew Academy because it saves lives. Many teens start off smoking weed, but the addiction can spiral out of control. When a school drug tests, they don’t want to punish students or expel them. Rather, the school wants to assist students facing addiction.

In my four years at the Hebrew Academy, different speakers have discussed their drug addiction and how they conquered it. They all had one thing in common: weed introduced them to drugs, and it got worse from there. Students think that they will never end up in the position of the speakers and that they have control over their drug intake. Many start using drugs to fit in or to have a good time. No one has in mind that it can one day turn into a true addiction, and by the time they realize it, it can be too late.  

Many of us teens think that we know everything. We think that we are smart and mature enough to take care of ourselves and make our own decisions. We don’t realize that we are still children and have so much to learn. None of us have left the bubble we live in and entered the real world.

Nobody wants to end up like those speakers, but teens think of themselves as impervious to the negative influence of drugs. That’s why we need to have drug testing in the school. Speakers are great, but they aren’t enough. We need to be proactive. If we can drug test the students and help them, why shouldn’t we?

We are a very small school and are commonly referred to as a family. A family looks out for each other and wants the best for everybody else. A family wants everyone to be healthy. We have to do anything in our power to help, and potentially save, as many students as we can. There is an invasion of privacy involved in drug testing, but the ends justify the means.

Thankfully, we haven’t seen a student with a severe case of drug addiction. But what if one of the students becomes addicted? We have to be ready to help them and get them back on their feet. We can’t wait for something tragic to happen, and then open our eyes. Even though it is expensive to drug test students, it is worth the expense because it can prevent further complications down the road.

This is why I think drug testing is imperative to student safety. We can save many lives, we can prevent students from spiraling out of control, and most importantly, we are a family, and family looks out for each other.  

No Way

By: Caleb Katz (12th)


Drug testing has been, and continues to be, a controversial topic in America. Whether in schools, the workplace, or other places, drug testing has played a major role in trying to clean up substance abuse. Although public schools cannot drug test, private schools can. And our school, RASG Hebrew Academy, does drug test. Despite the fact that it has benefits, I believe our school should not drug test its student body. There are two main reasons the school should not drug test. The first is that it promotes alcohol abuse. Most students who have done drugs haven’t tried cocaine, heroin, or other intense drugs. Rather, they occasionally smoke marijuana. The effects of marijuana are scientifically proven to be less intense than alcohol, but drug testing drives students to drink alcohol since they know it won’t show up on the test. This is dangerous because kids could make very bad decisions under the influence of alcohol, including getting behind the wheel. This is not to say the school should promote the recreational use of marijuana, but by drug testing, they instead steer kids toward alcohol abuse. Another reason Hebrew Academy should not drug test is cost. Drug testing can cost up to $100 per student, and if the school were to drug test a quarter of its student body, that amounts to over $3,000 a year.

Instead of using this money to drug test, the school should use it to bring in programs that raise awareness about the effects of alcohol and drugs on teenagers. In doing so, students will be educated and stray away from drug  and alcohol abuse.

We, as a school, should look to take preventative measures so that drug tests become unnecessary. We should take precautionary steps instead of trying to amend things when people are farther down a path towards drug abuse.

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