NEW RICHMOND, OH (FOX19) - Students in grades 9-12 who participate in athletics, extra-curricular activities and who possess district parking privileges will now be randomly drug tested at New Richmond High School.
"It will give our students an additional reason to say no to peer pressure regarding drugs and alcohol," said District Supt. Adam Bird. "I think this is very important for our schools and our community which continues to experience heroin deaths and continues to experience drug use and drug problems."
The Board of Education of the New Richmond Exempted Village School District approved of the random drug testing on Monday. It will go in effect this school year.
Students would have to submit to random drug tests administered by a third-party laboratory, if they are chosen.
New Richmond says the purpose of the new policy is as follows:
- To provide for the health, safety and welfare of all students;
- To identify students with substance use problems for referral to appropriate counseling or treatment services
- To undermine the effects of peer pressure by providing a legitimate reason for students to refuse use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol;
- To deter drug use among all students:
- To identify students who use illegal drugs and/or alcohol;
- To encourage students who use illegal drugs and/or alcohol to participate in appropriate treatment programs; and
- To provide easy parent access to drug addiction help through mha.ohio.gov, StartTalking.ohio.gov and similar websites.
"The high school administration will assign numbers to each student and the lab will randomly generate a list to be tested," said Bird. "The lab technician will show up at random times and give the high school the numbers to be tested."
School officials say the drugs for which students may be tested under the proposed policy would include alcohol, anabolic steroids, nicotine (tobacco), marijuana, LSD, amphetamines, methamphetamines, methadone, methaqualone, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (valium), opiates, cocaine, propoxyphene (darvon), MDMA (ecstasy), phencyclidine, tricyclic, buprenorphine, oxycodone, and/or any substances included in 21 U.S.C. 802(6).
Although students risk the loss of team-activities-parking privileges, the random drug testing policy is designed to be non-punitive with regard to academics, according to school officials. No student will be suspended or expelled from school as a result of a certified positive test conducted by the district under the random drug testing policy.
New Richmond's new policy received the full support of high school administrators, coaches and received overwhelming public support at public hearings this summer, school officials said.
The random drug testing policy is available at the link here: http://www.nrschools.org/Downloads/NREVSD_DrugTesting2.pdf