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.
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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.”
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