05 February 2013

Drug Testing in High School

Rockhurst High School, an all-boy Jesuit school in Kansas City, MO, has rolled out a new policy.  It's going to drug test hair next school year.  They'll take a chunk of hair and let a private company analyse it.  Students who flunk the drug test have 90 days to get clean (or else what?  I don't know).

The news report about it seemed to make a big deal about a few things:

1.  Administration won't know.  Yeah, right.

2.  The results go into a counseling file, which is destroyed upon graduation.  Well.  What if the student transfers schools?  It goes, too, doesn't it?  And having a positive drug test on your file is not a good thing, thanks.  I'm sure the school could say parents have to give permission for the file to be transferred.  I'm also sure schools can refuse any student who does not.

Which would make this school pretty much the default choice after a positive drug test, and it

3.  Costs over $12,000 a year to attend.  And there are fees for about a billion things.  You would think for that kind of cash that parents would speak up for the rights of their children.

I don't know why anyone thinks this is OK.  Sure, if a kid shows up all drugged-out, search his locker and refer his parents to counselling or something.  But really?  At that kind of price?  I should imagine that if it is not happening during school hours it is not even happening if you know what I mean.

I've been to Rockhurst recently for a chess tournament.  It's in Missouri technically but it is on State Line Road so if you cross the street, you're in Kansas.  It's a nice, large school that is reasonably well kept-up.  My son's friend hopes to go there to play football someday.

They didn't seem like evil people when I went there, which is why this news story is so perplexing.  The chess kids I met from Rockhurst actually struck me as kinda nerdy and hardly the binge-drugging kind.  Maybe these rich people need to invent things to worry about. 


  1. Had we stayed in New Orleans, and the private Catholic school my kids were in, my kids then in pre-k and first grade would have had to have a chunk cut out of their hair for drug testing. I was thinking about protesting because cutting a chunk out of AA hair is hard to hide... fortunately, we moved and did have to deal with with it.

    1. Sharpie marker? Because yeah, it would look awful. And did you notice that they said that if you shave, they will count it as a POSITIVE test? So. Lots of black young men have very short buzzed hair...

      I had no idea that they were already doing this in NO years and years ago. I cannot imagine parents just being ok with it. :/

    2. Yes, it would be really hard for black young men to take a hair strand drug test. The clean-cut boys tend to wear hair at 1/4 inch at the most. The others (like my son) who wears long braid would always have a jacked-up spot on his head.

      I doubt the policy is discriminatory.... but it certainly is ignorant, which I find even more disheartening.

    3. Well in some ways. But stupidity can be corrected more easily than deep-seated hatred.

      Oh wait. No, it can't!! :/

  2. Being "on drugs" doesn't mean the same thing it used to when I was growing up. Are they going to test for pharmaceuticals, too?

    1. "The school will test for the use of a variety of substances over the previous 90 days, including cocaine, PCP, opiates, methamphetamine, marijuana and binge alcohol." So. "Including" might mean other stuff but I'm thinking likely not.

  3. Yeah, this is an expensive program. They can make it optional, maybe? But that would defeat its purpose in some ways. The only cure for this is to stop using drugs. If only it's that easy to completely get rid of it in our system! Tasha@ESS


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