When the Middle School Coach Explained “Random Drug Test”

Our school district took a giant step toward keeping kids off drugs by implementing a random drug testing policy for any student 6th grade or older who participates in an extra-curricular activity or parks a vehicle on the high school campus. The school district knew this would generate a lot of conversation, but I bet they had no idea it would also create the most hilarious conversation I’ve ever heard. It went like this:

Scene: Late afternoon; middle school soccer field; coach and boys gather for post-practice instructions

Coach: Boys, what time should you be here tomorrow?

Boys (in unison): 4 o’clock!

Coach: What paper do you need to bring tomorrow?

Boys (in unison): Drug test paper!

Boy 1: *raises hand* Hey coach, if they pick us to take the drug test, what are we actually supposed to do? I mean, like, how do we take the test?

Coach: *chuckling* It’s not like a school test where you answer questions. You pee in a cup.

Boys (not in unison): What? No Way! You’re lying to us! Gross. That can’t be right. Seriously?

Coach: I’m serious. If you get called by the guidance counselor for a random drug test, you go to the office and they give you a plastic cup and you go in the bathroom and pee in the cup.

Players are still mumbling in disbelief as they shake their heads side-to-side and smack the palms of their hands on their foreheads.

Coach: You’re lucky. In the Army we had to do drug tests but there was a guy and his job was to watch you pee in a cup.

Boys (shouting in horror and disgust): Oh my God! Gross. You’re lying. There’s no way that’s true!

Coach: I’m not lying. That was his real job and he was called, “the observer.”

At this point, the boys were scattered around the coach. Some sat and stared, others had collapsed onto the grass and were laid out flat. Mostly, they looked around, giggling, punching each other in the arm, and making peeing sounds, ppssssssssss.

Coach: *Not even trying to regain control of this situation* Alright boys, go home. Be here tomorrow at 4.


I laughed to myself as we walked to the parking lot. Bless their little hearts, they had no idea what a random drug test entailed. I guess they would show up to the counselor’s office with a pencil if the coach hadn’t explained what to do.

We were barely in the car when my son starting firing off questions.

Son: So, I have to pee in a cup every day because I play soccer.

Me: No.

Son: Every time we have a game?

Me: No. It’s random.

Son (a bit exasperated): WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!

Me: It means they pick one kid each week to take the drug test…

Son (interrupting): Which kid?

Me: You never know who will get picked. That’s what random means.

Son: *heavy sigh of frustration with a matching eye-roll*

A few moments of silence


Son: Ok, so to pee in a cup, you just put the cup on top of the lid and pee in it.

Me: No, buddy, these are school toilets. They don’t have lids like the ones at home.

Son: Ok. So, you put the cup on the floor.

Me: No! Then you would pee all over the floor.


Me: I assume you hold the cup with one hand and then…. You know what, let’s ask (step-dad) when we get home. I have a good idea of how it works but I don’t have your parts.

Son: Yeah, girls have it so easy. You just sit down and pee in the cup and it’s no big deal. *huffy sigh*

Me: *Takes a deep breath and prepares to tell the 12-year-old boy that, no, it is not easy to be a girl when you have to give a urine sample. At least boys have something to hold and aim toward the cup. Have you ever tried to hit a target that you put in the dark, underneath your body, where you can’t really see it?!*

Me: Hey, don’t worry about it. We’ll get this all sorted out.


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