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Should a Barber School Do Drug Test on Students and Employees?

From a legal point of view, the decision will have to be determined by state and federal regulations especially those covering drug testing in educational institutions and workplaces.

In terms of ethics, it comes with concerns regarding student and workers’ privacy, individual rights, as well as the presumption of innocence.

From a practical standpoint, you should take into account the cost and expenses that come with implementing drug testing policies as well as how it will impact recruitment and retention. Nevertheless, it is a good line for any barber school, although it is still recommended you weigh its pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Barber School Doing Drug Tests on Students and Employees


1. Maintaining Professionalism

Truth be told, drug testing creates and sustains a positive image for the barber school, further cementing its outlook as a professional and responsible institution.

This will ensure it draws in more students and clients. Aside from that, putting in place drug-free policies further buttresses the schools’ willingness and commitment to upholding high standards of conduct and excellence in the industry.

2. Safety in the Workplace

Without argument, substance abuse negatively impacts judgment and coordination, and this could give rise to accidents. As such, putting in place drug testing policies works to ensure a safer work environment by limiting or eradicating the risk of incidents that could prove deadly.

3. Compliance with Regulations

Keep in mind that a good number of states or federal regulations mandate educational institutions and workplaces to carry out drug testing. Full adherence to these regulations is very important when it comes to avoiding penalties or legal setbacks.

4. Building Trust with Clients

Note that clients will feel more inclined to return or direct a friend to a barber school that pays attention to maintaining professionalism, safety, and full compliance with industry standards.

You cannot afford to underestimate the importance of a positive reputation as it can lead to word-of-mouth referrals as well as positive reviews.

5. Supporting Student Success

The primary objective of every academic institution is to inculcate both character and learning in their students. Keep in mind that by putting in place drug testing policies, the institution can quickly note students dealing with substance abuse issues early, ensuring that they can have the right support, resources, and guidance to curtail it.


1. Invasion of Privacy

In a good number of situations, drug testing has been seen as infringing on individuals’ rights to privacy and autonomy, particularly if the procedures are void of transparency or respect for confidentiality.

Also, note that things like false positives or misunderstandings with prescribed medications could give rise to stigma or discrimination against students or employees.

2. False Positives and Stigma

One thing people fail to understand is that drug tests are not always 100% accurate when it comes to differentiating between illicit drugs and legal medications.

Keep in mind that being tagged a drug user based on a false positive or misunderstanding could have an impactful effect on a person’s reputation and opportunities.

3. Cost and Resources

Do not neglect the expenses that come with putting in place drug testing programs. Most often, the institution will need to invest in testing kits, staff training, administrative tasks, as well as potential legal consultations.

All these can be cumbersome, particularly for smaller barber schools. Aside from that, effectively coordinating drug testing logistics, documentation, and follow-ups will take up massive time and effort from administrative staff.

4. Impact on Recruitment

Most definitely, it is going to have a massive impact on the schools’ recruitment since students or employees who object to or feel uncomfortable with the practice will want to steer clear. Also, note that a good number of people will want to see those policies as a sign of a distrustful or unwelcoming environment.

5. Legal and Ethical Challenges

To be effective, drug testing policies will have to align with very complex legal frameworks, such as anti-discrimination laws, and privacy regulations, coupled with procedures for handling test results and disputes.

It will fall on the school to find a good balance between safety concerns as well as individual rights, confidentiality, and fairness.