/ Drug testing for teachers

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

Ridiculous. A good way to lose loads of good teachers from the profession.
Pursued by a bear - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Well, I'd need some strong medication if I had to face a class of adolescents every day. Will they recommend appropriate ones?

T.
thin bob on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
Ridiculous. Unless they're teaching pupils how to operate nuclear reactors by hand.
iksander on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Testing for cannabis seems a bit daft. Certainly for teachers. Very few of even the sternest tokers smoke during working hours.

That said, a large proportion of teachers and nurses that I have met are majors fiends. But excel at their jobs nevertheless.

The inference of what Hogan-Howe said seems to be to reduce demand rather than protect children. Anyone whose negligence could endager the lives of lots of kids eg coach drivers would seem to be a more rational target.

Morning tests for alcohol would arguably do more to protect children rather than augment the rozzers' KPIs.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) Testing for cannabis seems a bit daft. Certainly for teachers. Very few of even the sternest tokers smoke during working hours.
>
> That said, a large proportion of teachers and nurses that I have met are majors fiends. But excel at their jobs nevertheless.
>
> The inference of what Hogan-Howe said seems to be to reduce demand rather than protect children. Anyone whose negligence could endager the lives of lots of kids eg coach drivers would seem to be a more rational target.
>
> Morning tests for alcohol would arguably do more to protect children rather than augment the rozzers' KPIs.

Surely that then includes teachers.. supervising trips/sports..

Police should certainly be tested, especially for PEDs..
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to iksander:

That's my view on it. I know a fair few teachers, and whilst none would dream of smoking before or during the working day, a lot of them see nothing wrong with blazing up a fatty or two once they are home & their work is done.
If there's an issue with performance, then drug or alcohol issues should be looked at on an individual basis, but as a blanket test, I find the concept wholly intrusive.

It seems Hogan-Howe is a little miffed that people aren't paying attention to the nonsense they are told about drugs and are carrying on not giving a toss about drug laws, so he's going to try and be a vindictive little shit and force them do what he wants anyway.

I don't see how testing can take place in all occupations as he wants it to either; I'm self-employed, so who'd test me? The state?
andic - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

Good idea in a police state.
Dauphin - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

He will mix with all these security types from risk management companies like Kroll etc. No doubt he is on the payroll of a couple as a consultant. It is a billions of dollars industry in the U.S. Still it does nothing to stem the appetite for Americans to get spazzed out on whatever they can get there hands on.

D
Fat Bumbly2 - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Dauphin: This would have worried me pre 2010, when Plod asked, Plod got. Still very unpleasant and offensive though.


How about senior polis being hooked up to lie detectors? OK I know they don't work, but it is just as offensive an idea.
thin bob on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to TryfAndy)
>
> He will mix with all these security types from risk management companies like Kroll etc. No doubt he is on the payroll of a couple as a consultant. It is a billions of dollars industry in the U.S. Still it does nothing to stem the appetite for Americans to get spazzed out on whatever they can get there hands on.
>
> D

and maybe a payday for testing companies too.

As with most politicians ideas, they should be tested on politicians first.
Dafydd Llywelyn - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Sounds like a shocking idea, what people get up to on the weekend is of their business, especially if it doesn't effect their performance at work.

Morning alcohol tests however, sound like a cracking, if scary idea (I think a lot of people would fail that one!)
Albert Tatlock - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to iksander)
> [...]
>
> > Police should certainly be tested, especially for PEDs..

You will find that most if not all police forces undertake random drug / alcohol testing including PED, for all staff, no matter what role,and have done so for several years.

SI - profile removed on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: I'd just get one of the swatty kids to piss in the cup for me on the promise of an A*


marsbar - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Stupid and pointless and a waste of time and money.
Father Noel Furlong on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

I thought this was going to be about a knew GSCE!
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

From the responses here (OK, hardly representative but still) seems like with drugs, most people see it as a law they should have the right to break. What does that say about the law?
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

Perhaps, rather than whingeing about how "every one does it so it should just be allowed" this country should take a long hard look at drugs and decide what it wants.
And if that is drugs being illegal then it should act upon it - with schemes like this being entirely reasonable in that context.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Albert Tatlock: Not compulsary.. not regular.. which is what the police want other professions to go through.. one rule for one..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12324973

TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

If this country should decide, surely that should be in the form of a vote by the people such a law would affect?

And if such a scheme did come into force nationwide, what would happen to those then made unemployed by failing the tests because they refuse to stop taking something they themselves know isn't harmful to them?
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> If this country should decide, surely that should be in the form of a vote by the people such a law would affect?
>
> And if such a scheme did come into force nationwide, what would happen to those then made unemployed by failing the tests because they refuse to stop taking something they themselves know isn't harmful to them?

Isn't that everyone? or just drug users? If you are talking about a referendum.. strongly disagree.. we vote politicians in to trust them to make the calls.. that's how democracies work, not a referendum for any law change..

The debate on the danger of drugs is pretty complex.. exactly how harmful.. but for sure there is harm, but there is for any drug, be it tobacco, alcohol or marijuana..
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Albert Tatlock) Not compulsary.. not regular.. which is what the police want other professions to go through.. one rule for one..
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12324973

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that HH has suggested that the tests should be "regular", or where you are getting the idea that police officer tests aren't compulsory?
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to TryfAndy)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps, rather than whingeing about how "every one does it so it should just be allowed" this country should take a long hard look at drugs and decide what it wants.
> And if that is drugs being illegal then it should act upon it - with schemes like this being entirely reasonable in that context.

You're right. But that would involve some kind of rational debate about drugs, which as we all know makes politicians' heads explode, so they avoid it at all costs.

The idea of drugs being illegal only makes sense if you don't bother to enforce it. No one is seriously going in to nightclubs and clearing out all the pills and coke (and now mephedrone and ketamine) in them, arresting all the users and trying to process them through the system. Why? Because it would be of no benefit. It would close down a whole sub-sector of the nightlife industry and would criminalise millions (literally) of young people who are doing nothing wrong, massively harming their future prospects and costing the tax payer a ludicrous sum of money. In fact, the resources simply don't exist to enforce laws banning recreational drug use, and no one is arguing for more to be spent on it, since it isn't a problem of any appreciable magnitude.

So we have laws that we don't want enforced (no one ever complains about recreational drug use, because it essentially causes no harm), yet every politician knows that to change the law is political suicide. The politicians' only viable course of action is to remain utterly hypocritical and say that they think recreational drug use is bad and must be stopped (perpetuating the public opinion that this is the case) but making absolutely no attempt to do anything about it (because the resources are much much better directed at something that is a problem).

It's a mad world.
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:
> (In reply to off-duty)
>
> If this country should decide, surely that should be in the form of a vote by the people such a law would affect?
>

If the country decides it wants to change the laws on drugs then I would like to think it should apply to everyone.

> And if such a scheme did come into force nationwide, what would happen to those then made unemployed by failing the tests because they refuse to stop taking something they themselves know isn't harmful to them?

I guess, like those currently subject to random drugs testing, they will have a decision to make.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty: If asked they are compulsary.. but from the articles in the recent press most tests were undertaken on tip offs..

For me it should be part of a medical. Some forces undertake no testing at all..

off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

So maybe the solution is to highlight the contradiction you say exists by proposing a method of enforcing the law like random drugs testing and precipitate a debate or decision on what the country wants.....
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to off-duty) If asked they are compulsary.. but from the articles in the recent press most tests were undertaken on tip offs..
>
> For me it should be part of a medical. Some forces undertake no testing at all..

From the article you linked to it repeatedly states that the majority of tests are random with the figures from the met saying 1% were "with cause".

I'm not sure that knowing in advance that on a prearranged date you will receive a drugs test is going to catch many people.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: I just don't think its a big enough of an issue to spend millions and millions on..

It's also not a straight forwards answer.. there is a great deal of data linking the use of drugs and mental health conditions. So their status is justified, what level is debateable.

By 'talk sense'.. do you mean agree with you?
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> So maybe the solution is to highlight the contradiction you say exists by proposing a method of enforcing the law like random drugs testing and precipitate a debate or decision on what the country wants.....

It won't happen. The debate is impossible. It would involve huge numbers of powerful people saying that for their entire lives in public office, they've been wrong. This kind of turnaround will never happen. The hypocrisy, I predict, will last forever, because no one with any clout is hurt by it. A few young people have their job prospects ruined, but that's about it.
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:

A referendum would ensure that everyone got their voices heard, not just the politicians who are too spineless to even consider discussing changing drug policy.

And those subject to random drug testing chose to do those jobs that entail them. If every job had testing, then that's not exactly a choice is it, it's people being forced to either not take drugs in their own time or keep their jobs.
ads.ukclimbing.com
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty: Wouldn't that depend on the level of testing?

Also compulsory testing for any involved in questionable incidences.. deaths of the public, crashes etc.. if officers knew there was a threat of regular testing it would help..

IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: They have discussed it many times..
Tony Naylor on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> Perhaps, rather than whingeing about how "every one does it so it should just be allowed" this country should take a long hard look at drugs and decide what it wants.

Speaking as a non drug user and an anti-drug sort of chap (yes, even cannabis) perhaps Sir Bernard would like to to cease the distasteful spectacle of his frantic profile-raising public masturbation about mythical legions of public sector workers all stonked off their tits on the mighty weed, and do a little police work. He could look policey sort of stuff, like all evidence and shit and that, and then, like, do legal stuff. OK, it's not as much fun for him as the wanking. In fact it's probably a bit dull. And it won't boost his career. Ya got me there, Bernie.

But if he did take up my marvelous suggestion, a good place to start would be random tax inspections and fraud investigations for senior public officials. MPs and senior police bods would be an excellent way to get the ball rolling. Don't worry, chaps - you've got nothing to fear if you've got nothing to hide.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: I don't think it will ever happen.. lowering the class maybe.. actual legalising? I do see an argument personally, and it's a strong argument, but there is also a strong argument against and for now I think there are bigger issues to get on with..
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) I just don't think its a big enough of an issue to spend millions and millions on..
>
> It's also not a straight forwards answer.. there is a great deal of data linking the use of drugs and mental health conditions.

So what. Just because drugs might be harmful, that does not automatically mean that the best way to manage the harm caused is by prohibition. In fact, the more harmful, the better the regulation should be - we manage it with Prescription Only Medicines.

Prohibition of drugs serves only to put the control of them into the hands of criminals, I do not believe it reduces demand.

If anyone can justify to me that the reduction in demand achieved by prohibition (I think that's the intention?) outweighs the harms caused by giving control of supply to organised criminals, then I will eat my own face.

TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Oh indeed, there are much bigger issues in the UK than whether owning a bit of dried plant should be illegal or not. It's just that by making it illegal, a whole load of normal, decent hard-working people are being criminalised for nothing.
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>
>
> If anyone can justify to me that the reduction in demand achieved by prohibition (I think that's the intention?) outweighs the harms caused by giving control of supply to organised criminals, then I will eat my own face.

*applauds*
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> So what. Just because drugs might be harmful, that does not automatically mean that the best way to manage the harm caused is by prohibition. In fact, the more harmful, the better the regulation should be - we manage it with Prescription Only Medicines.
>
> Prohibition of drugs serves only to put the control of them into the hands of criminals, I do not believe it reduces demand.
>
> If anyone can justify to me that the reduction in demand achieved by prohibition (I think that's the intention?) outweighs the harms caused by giving control of supply to organised criminals, then I will eat my own face.

I think you are being overly aggressive? As said I see very good arguments for legalising.. I just also understand the other side.

I think the illegal status of drugs can be an attractant and reduce demand, it depends on the person.

I'm not sure the Govermnent could legalise something they knew was strongly linked with health issues..

And before you say it.. alcohol and cigarettes..

I think its widely accepted if these were introduced now they wouldn't be legalised.. but changing their status is impossible.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy: Isn't that why personal use of some drugs is almost decriminalised now?
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
> then I will eat my own face.

On the bath salts again? ;-)
winhill - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to TryfAndy)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps, rather than whingeing about how "every one does it so it should just be allowed" this country should take a long hard look at drugs and decide what it wants.
> And if that is drugs being illegal then it should act upon it - with schemes like this being entirely reasonable in that context.

How does the country decide what 'it' wants? There is a sense of community here, that enforcement is creating a particular type of community.

Drugs are illegal and that is acted upon, how does that context make the ramblings of these guys make more sense?

I seem to remember that one of the two identified causes of the broadwater Farm riots was that the stop and search tactics of the coppers made it almost impossible for any one black to have a smoke in peace.

This is another example of the age old concept of policing by consent being over-ridden by ideological nutters in high office in the filth.

Civil liberties aren't some random application of the law, they reflect the actual community life that people enjoy.
Morgan Woods - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) I just don't think its a big enough of an issue to spend millions and millions on..
>
> It's also not a straight forwards answer.. there is a great deal of data linking the use of drugs and mental health conditions. So their status is justified, what level is debateable.
>

so if some people who are pre-disposed to mental illness also have drug issues it is fine to ban them for the rest of us?
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) Isn't that why personal use of some drugs is almost decriminalised now?

Last time I checked, cannabis was still a Class B substance with 5 years inside for possession (if you're incredibly unlucky).
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Morgan Woods: Wow.. as said.. I'm either way.. I can just see both arguments and I'm not sure thats been comprehensively demonstrated..
dissonance - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) I just don't think its a big enough of an issue to spend millions and millions on..

we already are. in terms of policing etc. So might as well try and fix it.

> It's also not a straight forwards answer.. there is a great deal of data linking the use of drugs and mental health conditions. So their status is justified, what level is debateable.

well, and this is just a random suggestion. We could listen to the people who have done the studies and assessed the risk?


toad - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>>
> well, and this is just a random suggestion. We could listen to the people who have done the studies and assessed the risk?


I thought the official government line was to immediately sack them?
marsbar - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty: Perhaps I should clarify my position. I am a teacher. I don't use illegal drugs. I would test clean. That is not the point.
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
> [...]
>
>
>
> well, and this is just a random suggestion. We could listen to the people who have done the studies and assessed the risk?

We can.. and you can find studies supporting either argument.. google scholar.. don't cherry pick.. I just did a quick google and found papers supporting each view..
dissonance - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> We can.. and you can find studies supporting either argument.. google scholar.. don't cherry pick.. I just did a quick google and found papers supporting each view..

so how about forming a committee of scientists and other specialists and getting them to review the papers?
David Martin - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

What an idiot.
off-duty - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> How does the country decide what 'it' wants? There is a sense of community here, that enforcement is creating a particular type of community.
>
> Drugs are illegal and that is acted upon, how does that context make the ramblings of these guys make more sense?
>
> I seem to remember that one of the two identified causes of the broadwater Farm riots was that the stop and search tactics of the coppers made it almost impossible for any one black to have a smoke in peace.
>
> This is another example of the age old concept of policing by consent being over-ridden by ideological nutters in high office in the filth.
>
> Civil liberties aren't some random application of the law, they reflect the actual community life that people enjoy.

When I last checked civil liberties didn't include the right to break the law with impunity.

Enforcing that law might have to be done with caution - and undoubtedly police actions were involved in the atmosphere that created the riots in the 80's. I'm not sure that suggesting random drugs testing be carried out by other organisations is trampling all over policing by consent. It does appear to be focussing minds on drugs law though.

I guess the acid test might be whether the general public's reaction to their kids teacher failing a drugs test be the equivalent to the reaction of the teacher being caught for speeding or the teacher being caught for drink driving.
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to David Martin:

Que?
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> [...]
>
> so how about forming a committee of scientists and other specialists and getting them to review the papers?

There are a few..
tom_in_edinburgh - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to TryfAndy)
> And if that is drugs being illegal then it should act upon it - with schemes like this being entirely reasonable in that context.

But they are employers, not the police: it's not their duty or place to enforce laws outside of the workplace. If an employer is to have a drug testing programme it should be to ensure the drug use is not causing a safety hazard or unacceptable performance, not because they are illegal.

I'd have less concern about an employer using a breathalyser to see if someone was sober at work than an employer using a urine test to see if they had smoked cannabis at the weekend.


David Martin - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> there is a great deal of data linking the use of drugs and mental health conditions. So their status is justified, what level is debateable.

I'm not so sure. There's a great deal of data finding a correlation but little or none that finds causality.

On the other hand there is clearly a very real situation of criminalisation and crime as a result of illegality.

I know which social ill I'd be targeting


IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to David Martin: I said link.. causality/correlation is near impossible to disentangle.. these studies often have ludicrously low n values.. difficulty in reporting.. participation..

For sure.. re comment 2.

For some reason a number of you seem to think I stand on one side of the argument.. I don't at all.
TryfAndy on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:
> (In reply to off-duty)
> [...]
>
> But they are employers, not the police: it's not their duty or place to enforce laws outside of the workplace. If an employer is to have a drug testing programme it should be to ensure the drug use is not causing a safety hazard or unacceptable performance, not because they are illegal.
>
> I'd have less concern about an employer using a breathalyser to see if someone was sober at work than an employer using a urine test to see if they had smoked cannabis at the weekend.

That is exactly my issue with the original topic; an employer has no right to dictate behaviour outside of the workplace when it doesn't affect productivity at work.
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Apologies if the tone came across as aggressive, certainly not intended personally. It's an issue that really frustrates me because it's absolutely blindingly obvious that there is no rational argument for the prohibition of recreational drugs.

A rational argument has to shows that one policy is better than the alternative. There is no debate at this level on drugs, and there can't ever be, because it would involve powerful people admitting they were wrong, and ordinary people having to readjust their views such that their comfortable but illogical reasoning was replaced with something rational. Those at the top are going to have to turn into the wind first, and there's nothing in it for them.
David Martin - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to TryfAndy:

Don't worry, not you! :-)
IainRUK - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: TBH I probably do sit slightly in favour of legalising.. mainly to reduce criminality associated.. and also tax revenues.. I just see some negatives.. but I'd want targeted research to really address them..

I am anti-drugs myself, but I do drink and do think people should have the choice to poison their own bodies how they feel fit.. clearly alcohol is as bad, worse.., as many drugs in many ways.

But with a Tory government i don't think we'll see any shift to look for an answer.. its a very political area though and think politics informs this more than science..
Jon Stewart - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to TryfAndy) Isn't that why personal use of some drugs is almost decriminalised now?

Interestingly enough, there are decriminalised drugs almost identical to cannabis, speed and ecstacy that have slipped through the inefficiently-tightening net of legislation. And hardly anyone is taking them. Why? Because not many people like taking drugs - those that do just take what's easiest to get hold of, i.e. the illegal ones. Taking drugs is a minority pursuit and the whole idea that if you decriminalised them then use would rocket is completely made up.
needvert on 31 Jan 2013
Bad idea.

We should only screen teachers for being shitty at teaching.
needvert on 31 Jan 2013
Oh I see. So it was a police commissioner suggesting this.

I hope this doesn't get any traction. It's pathetic to go to this extreme of both invasion of peoples lives and expenditure of money, to attempt to curb such a trivial crime. Something that many reasonably argue shouldn't be any more or less of a crime than alcohol or tobacco.

I find it distressing that this guy has power, and I question his critical thinking if he is making statements like this.

Perhaps he has confused his position, perhaps he's forgotten he is a servant.
TheUnknownClimber - on 31 Jan 2013
Cannibas is crap anyway. Half the teachers and nurses I know are into E and Coke anyway (and also Accountants, Lawyers, Police Officers, Brick Layers, and Dentists.

Recreaction drug use is in all professions and walks of life. The biggest wasters I know are the drunks who finish work and spend all weekend getting smashed on booze, spewing, fighting and take till wednesday to shift their hangovers.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.