Random Drug Testing Not Yet in Place at High School
Funding and identifying a vendor have delayed start of program, raise questions from parents.
While a policy instituting random drug testing for high school students was approved by the Jefferson Township Board of Education in July, and slated to go into effect for the 2012-13 school year, district officials said they are still working on implementing the program, including finding a vendor, acquiring funding and developing a campaign to roll the program out.
And parents are wondering why.
“Random drug testing was the recommendation of the ad hoc committee of the board,” Joseph Kraemer, superintendent of Jefferson Township schools, said. “Before moving forward with the program, you must have policy to guide it.
“We now have consensus on implementation and policy and regulation to support the program,” Kraemer continued. “We are working on procedures, bidding for vendors to conduct the program, acquiring funding and developing a roll-out campaign.”
Kraemer said the district’s hope is that the program will be rolled out by January 2013.
The implementation date has some parents confused.
“I had thought that the testing program was approved for this school year,” parent Doreen Gill said. “I’m not sure why the program was approved before the administration knew how they were going to pay for it.”
“I’m very much in favor of the program,” Monica Soules, another parent of two high school children, said. “I was looking for the form on the parent portal when school started, and I even asked Mr. Mundi what was happening with it. I would have liked to see it ready and in place for the start of this school year.”
When the program is in place, it will be completely voluntary. Under the policy, parents will be able to sign their students up for the program at no cost to them. A minimum of 2.5 percent of those students who sign up for the program will be tested each month, Kraemer said.