Thursday, May 30, 2019

[Presentation] 13th ISSDP Conference, Paris - The impacts of drug testing in Philippine schools

On May 24, 2019, as part of the 13th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) in Paris, France, I presented a paper entitled "The impacts of drug testing in Philippine schools". A policy analysis informed by key informant interviews, government documents, and public discourse, I highlighted the harms of this policy - to the students, to the schools, and to society at large. 

I concluded my presentation with three major points:

- Random drug testing (RDT) poses a risk for students, requires financial and human resources  from the school system, and perpetuates the idea that society must be ‘drug-free’

- RDT in Philippine schools has persisted over the past two decades because of its largely uncritical acceptance by government agencies, as well as the social and political efficacies of supporting (or acquiescing) to it.

- Beyond the killings, we need to look at other policies whose harms are more insidious - as these are ones that are more likely to persist 

This is a topic that deserves further exploration (and documentation). For more of my thoughts about it, please see a column that I wrote in January.

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