Vermilion High School to Make Drug Testing Decision
VERMILION, Ohio — In just a few weeks, students at Vermilion High School will have to decide whether or not to submit to random drug testing.
Monday night, the Board of Education approved a policy that requires students who want to play sports to take a drug test. The new policy would also apply to students who want a parking pass or anyone who would like to participate in extracurricular activities such as band in grades 8 – 12.
Superintendent Phil Pempin says the testing will be randomly given throughout the year. It will be administered through urinalysis, hair samples and saliva testing. The results will be determined through a third party administrator.
Pempin says the cost for the first year of testing will be around $25,000. He says the money is available in the district funding and is predicting about 60 percent of the student body will sign the consent form.
If students fail the testing, they will be required to take three additional tests which will be paid for by their parents. Students will also be required to undergo drug counseling.
“We’re just looking as a way to help to help our kids; we’re giving this as a non-punitive policy. We’re offering counseling for students that have had problems,” said Pempin.
Student athletes like Emily Innes are hoping the testing will serve as a deterrent.
“There’s less pressure to do drugs or alcohol because there’s always a chance they might get tested the next day,” said Innes.
Football player Aaron Rice said, “I think the new drug test policy is a good idea, I know it has good intentions. I personally don’t care if I get tested or not.”
Resident Judith Lane said, “I’m sure it will all come back to the homeowners in their property taxes in some kind of way. If they have that much money, then why do they keep having to get levies passed through?”
“I think it’s a little too much. If there’s a lot of problems, maybe they should. But ultimately it should be up to the parents,” said Christopher Pauley.
“It will end up costing the community less money because as you know abuse is a problem,” said Pempin.