Woodward Academy will become the second school in the state of Georgia to administer random drug test on its students.
School officials agreed to implement the policy beginning next year in an effort to prevent students from using drugs. The decision came after a recent study, conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, says that drug use is prevalent during the school day.
“The whole emphasis of the program is prevention, not punishment,” said Dr. Stuart Gulley, president at Woodward Academy.
While Dr. Gulley believes that drug use is not just a Woodward problem, they are hoping that through random drug test, their students are more able to live a healthier life.
Woodward Academy’s drug testing plan will take every few weeks, involving a random selection of upper school students, 9th through 12th graders. The school plans to hire the service of an outside firm that will perform the test. If a student tests positive once, s/he will be getting additional hours of community service. Students that test positive twice will be facing dismissal from the school.
When asked if the procedure oversteps a school’s bounds, Dr. Gulley said, “We’ve heard that from a few parents here, but overwhelmingly the response from parents has been very much in favor of what we’re planning to do.”
Dr. Gulley also shared that in his talks with other private schools that have implemented similar programs, he learned that they all felt a major change in the culture, and that change is the kind he hopes to see at Woodward.