This coming fall, the St. Mary’s Catholic Central High School (SMCC) will begin to implement random drug testing among its students.
SMCC President Sean Jorgensen said that the drug testing program aims to prevent drug abuse in the school and not so much on giving punishments to those who will be caught using prohibited substances. “It’s not a zero tolerance policy. It’s about prevention.”
The school’s drug testing policy will cover students, staff, faculty, and coaches to submit themselves for random testing, but students who test positive will not be automatically expelled. A medical officer will instead contact their families and verify the student’s condition. Families will also be assisted if there is a need for counseling or further treatment; all these will be done with confidentiality.
Mr. Jorgensen clarifies that the drug testing program does not necessarily mean that their institution is in jeopardy with regards to drug abuse, but that he believes his students are no different when it comes to experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
The new policy took almost a year to create and the decision for its implementation just came recently. SMCC will work with Mercy Memorial Hospital’s Corporate Connection and the Psychemedics Corp. in the course of the random drug testing program.
Should any of the students, staff, faculty, and coaches be randomly chosen for the test, they will be required to provide a significant amount of hair samples for the test.
Principal Jenny Biler is in full support of the drug test program as she is optimistic that students and school personnel will be thinking twice before getting into the web of drug abuse. “The consequences of teenage drug use impact the school and can interfere with learning and the fullest possible development of each student.”
SMCC is the third Catholic school to adopt a random drug testing program in Michigan after Lansing and Warren De LaSalle Catholic Schools earlier implemented their own version of drug testing policies.