Drug Testing to Begin at 3 Area Schools
CLEVELAND — Three Cleveland-area Catholic high schools announced Tuesday they will begin drug testing all students in grades 9-12 beginning in the fall.
Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, St. Edward High School in Lakewood and Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland said the schools are focused on preventing substance abuse and protecting students’ health and well-being.
All students will be initially tested using a non-invasive hair sampling procedure. Periodic, random tests will occur throughout the school year.
The schools sent letters to parents to explain the reasons behind their focus on substance-abuse prevention, noting drug abuse is the largest single threat to a high school student’s achievement.
“Teens are under enormous pressure and need help making good decisions,” a joint press release stated. “Our students will be able to say ‘no’ and tell their friends it’s because their school tests and their parents would find out.”
The schools said the testing is not designed to be a punitive program, but rather one of many wellness efforts intended to be a proactive prevention and intervention strategy.
Any student who tests positive will be assisted by counselors to get the help they need, the schools said.