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Edmond Public Schools to begin drug testing in high schools in January

Edmond Public Schools will begin random drug testing for students who participate in extracurricular activities. School officials hope the policy results in intervention for students who need help.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: December 5, 2012

Batt helped organize a forum earlier this year where she and others spoke about drug use among students in the district.

Batt said she supported the policy but hopes the district will take a comprehensive approach to combating drugs in schools.

“It might make a difference to one student if they're caught or involved, but not for the general student body,” Batt said.

The issue is personal to Batt. A group of hunters found Batt's brother, Stephen, dead in an Arizona desert in 1989. Batt said her brother was killed by people associated with his drug problem.

Batt's brother started using drugs as a teen and continued to decline until his death.

“You start out as a child or a young adult or teenager and think, ‘It's not going to affect me,'” Batt said. “You just have no idea what the power of drugs is.”

Policies vary

Edmond Schools isn't the first in the Oklahoma City metro-area to start random drug testing, but policies vary from district to district.

Oklahoma City Public Schools does not have a drug-testing program.

The Mid-Del School District started its random drug testing program in 2007. The district received a three-year federal grant to not only implement the program but also study its effectiveness, spokeswoman Stacey Boyer said.

Since the beginning of the program, the district has tested 2,704 students at its three high schools. Of those tested, 45 students tested positive, Boyer said.

Putnam City Schools doesn't drug test students, but administrators have discussed the possibility, district spokesman Steve Lindley said. Those internal discussions could become more finite in the coming months.

“Will there be a policy of that? Time will tell,” Lindley said. “We view it as something that would help protect the health and safety of students.”

Heritage Hall administrators have been discussing a policy but there isn't a timeline for when a policy might be rolled out, said Will Webb, assistant head of school for external affairs.

Contributing: Staff Writer Carrie Coppernoll

Read more about the policy
by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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