first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“I’ve got nothing to hide,” said Daniel Kelly, 14, who was plucked out of class to have his mouth swabbed and saliva tested for drugs. He doesn’t mind the testing, saying that since it applies to most students: “It’s not as if I’m the only one.” Critics say the tests violate students’ privacy and could open the door to lawsuits. As the program expands, some say, children will find their rights to object to the tests eroded. Rights activists say drug testing in schools is another infringement on privacy in Britain, where closed-circuit television cameras are ubiquitous and lawmakers are debating identity cards that would store biometric data such as fingerprints or iris scans. AVERSHAM, England – A British school has launched a pilot program in which students as young as 11 are subjected to random drug tests – a project that has generated interest in Washington and fed a civil-liberties debate on both sides of the Atlantic. The Abbey School in this southeastern market town is testing students by mouth swab for traces of heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Parents must give permission for the testing, and even then students can refuse. Former headmaster Peter Walker, who started the program, gave up his school job to become Britain’s official ambassador for drug testing. He recently went to Washington to give a presentation to John Walters, director of the White House drug policy office. Since the program began in January 2005, only one out of nearly 600 students has tested positive for marijuana – a record Walker attributes to students steering clear of drugs because of the tests. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more