CHR: Drug tests must protect child’s rights

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo June 24,2018 - 10:17 PM

JERUTA

Drug testing for grade school and high school students is legal provided that it complies with international and constitutional standards in protecting children’s rights, the regional Commission on Human Rights (CHR-7) said yesterday.

Regional CHR-7 Director Alvin Odron said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the police and other mandated government offices should make sure that safeguards are in place for the students who undergo drug tests.

This includes a set of guidelines that will ensure the uniformity and confidentiality of the test procedures.

Odron said the test results cannot be used to punish the children.

“The drug-test results cannot be used for law enforcement purposes and internal disciplinary functions. The guidelines should contain a provision clearly and categorically prohibiting the use of drug-testing for purposes of punishing students found to be drug users or dependents,” Odron said.

Regional Director Juliet Jeruta of the Department of Education (DepEd-7) earlier reiterated that drug testing for students as covered by DepEd Order No. 40 should only involve tertiary students and the faculty.

Jeruta also urged the PDEA to reconsider their plan to include elementary students for drug tests.

Last Friday, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino was quoted in a report saying that they plan to conduct mandatory drug testing for students Grade Four and up.

“If it’s elementary, our recommendation is curriculum integration and enhancement on anti-drug education, no testing,” Jeruta said.

She said anti-drug education is being integrated in the curriculum for Science and Technology and Social Studies subjects.

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TAGS: child’s rights, CHR, drug tests, must, protect

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