When voluntary random drug testing was approved for Jefferson Township High School students in July, the district wasn’t clear on how the program would be funded. That problem has been solved now that the district has received $102,650 in funding through Title I, part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
The district applied for the Title I grant funding earlier this year and found out late last week about the final number it would receive. This is the first year Jefferson has applied for Title I money.
“A small portion of that money will go toward random drug testing,” Joseph Kraemer, superintendent of schools, said. “We are currently getting quotes on five-panel and ten-panel drug tests.”
A five-panel test searches for marijuana (THC), cocaine (COC) amphetamine (AMP), opiates (OPI) and phencyclidine (PCP). A ten-panel test looks for those five plus benzodiazepines (BZO), propoxyphene (PPX), barbiturates (BAR), methadone (MTD) and methaqualone (MTQ).
Once the district settles on a vendor, procedures will be put into place and parents will be able to sign their children up for the program.
But not every parent is in favor of the program.
“I’m a very private person when it comes to matters like this,” Ruby Luciano, mother of a high school senior, said. “If I think my kid has a problem, I’ll take him to the doctor. I don’t want the school telling me what to do.”
Christa Doherty agreed with that sentiment.
“Let the parents do the parenting,” Doherty said. “If it takes the school to tell you your child has a problem, then you’re not in tune with your child.”
Others, however, are looking forward to the program being put into place.
“I’m in favor of random drug testing, and I’ll sign my children up,” Monica Soules, mother of two high school students, said. “If my kid has a problem, I want to know about it.”
Under the policy, parents will be able to sign their students up for the program at no cost. A minimum of 2.5 percent of those students who sign up for the program will be tested each month, Kraemer perviously stated.
A first offense is punishable by 30 days suspension from any sports or co-curricular activities. A second offense gets a student 45 days suspension from sports or co-curricular activities and mandatory addition to the random drug testing pool if the student wasn’t on the list already. A third offense garners students a 60-day suspension from sports or co-curricular activities.