Random Drug Testing Now Has Funding

District will use part of a Title I grant to pay for the program.

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.

JC September 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM
I thought No Child Left Behind Funds were to be used for education purposes, NOT for Drug testing. If the parents are that concerned why don't they take their child and get them tested on their own?? Do the parents not understand that taking money out of the educational Funds is not going to hurt all students education?
Pamela Kelly September 25, 2012 at 12:03 PM
This is an ideal use for NCLB funds. It can help prevent having children who are using drugs from being in the classroom and potentially disrupting the rest of the students (which hurts all students' education). In addition, it prepares children for the modern world where, in order to get a job, they must pass a drug screening. It stands to reason that students who want the privilege of participating in extra-curricular activities should have to pass a drug screening.
CD September 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
AGAIN leave the parenting to the parent's. If the drug test's comes out positive and this actions was not even done on school ground during school time then it is NOT the school's responsibility to discipline the child it's the parent's. And if the parent's want to have this done and sign the child up for it THEN PAY FOR IT WITH YOUR OWN MONEY. NOT MY CHILD'S POTENTIAL EDUCATION MONEY. As for preparing them for the future and drug testing for employment, when they are old enough let them make that decision to sign that consent form. In the mean time let me make that decison to drug test my own child on my own time.
Bonnie Thwing September 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Jefferson is being cited as he place to go to get drugs. Drugs have been in the schools for years and I am just happy that my children are out of the school at this time as the kids talk and they are saying that it is at it's worst. Somethng needs to be done and better control taken to save these children. I am happy to see that the drug testing will be done in the schools now and parents be aware.
Concerned Citizen September 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM
The Board of Ed should doublecheck that Title I funds can be used for this. Title I "provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards". Title IV, Part A is the section for "support programs that … prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; that involve parents and communities; and that are coordinated with related Federal, State, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement". Also, given that even simple things like a parking infraction in the school parking lot can mean an 'abandoned vehicle on private property' (instead of just a ‘parking ticket’) on your child's public driving record and hurt their future chances, think what a drug infraction could mean to their record. [See http://jefferson.patch.com/articles/jefferson-high-student-parent-question-district-parking-policy#comments] The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions. We may think we're doing the right thing, but that one mistake a kid makes at a party by standing near someone who’s smoking could change their entire future by this policy. Don’t let one childhood ‘experiment’ become their lifetime undoing by aggressive policing and today’s computerized record-keeping that will haunt them forever.
Donna Sue September 25, 2012 at 08:16 PM
some parents are in denial. and some are drug users their selves. and there are alot of unsupervised children in our area i noticed. kids have been fooling parents for years. i dont want a drug user at school convincing any other kids to use. peer pressure ya heard of that right. and besides parents have to sign for them to do it. i vote YES for the testing and along with that TEST THE TEACHERS AND BOARD OF ED. TOO.


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