However, drug testing all those applying for eligibility has been challenged frequently in the courts. Winograd said there could be a variety of reasons why West Virginia lawmakers were particularly interested in this policy, but that one could be continued concern for drug-abuse issues in the state.
"It's not an uncommon thing to have in workplaces, but I think people are thinking about substance-abuse drugs, but in West Virginia they could've easily been thinking about opioid addiction, which is a huge problem in that state," Winograd said.
A new proposal by PDEA yesterday was to include elementary students, Grade 4 or 10 years old and above.
A drug testing program has been initiated by the Department of Education (Dep Ed) since 2017 and has been pushed by administrations since Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
"We understand that each state or community must determine their criteria for participation along with financial models that ensure long-term sustainability of the programs." Students seeking eligibility for West Virginia's new program will be able to start taking drug tests as early as July.
Proposals for mandatory drug testing on secondary and tertiary students following Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) statements on drug affectation in schools have been put out by various government agencies since last week.
“The program covers all 1,300 officers and personnel at the central office, 3,800 in the regional offices, and 26,000 in schools division offices.
It also covers a sample population of all teachers, numbering 10,000, and a sample population of all secondary students, numbering 21,000.
Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwen Pimentel commented on this, asking for the rights of the children to be observed and safeguards and guidelines in the implementation of the drug testing be provided.
Pimentel said that the program must observe the right to privacy, the right to consent and to be informed of those who will take the drug tests, especially if they are children.