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School Drug Testing Survey Gets Strong Response

More than 300 people took it on the first day of the week-long program. Still no public comments by residents at the BOE meeting.

School Drug Testing Survey Gets Strong Response

More than 300 people responded to an online survey on the school district’s random drug testing policy in the first hours after it was posted on the district’s web site on Monday.

 School board member Thuy Anh Le said at Monday’s board meeting that she was “delighted” that 336 people had responded to the survey on the first day it was posted.

“We need your input,” Le said. “It’s the only way we have to get the pulse of the community.”

The survey is on the school district’s home page. Superintendent of Schools Jorden Schiff said the survey will be posted for a week.

The survey asked whether the program should be kept or ended. The survey also asked what measures the school district should employ to curb alcohol and drug use, including the use of Breathalyzer tests at school functions.

The board has reserved time on the agenda of its last few meetings for public comment on the future of the program, but only one person has directly addressed the board.

A vote on the program has been tentatively scheduled for next month.

At the July 9 board meeting, Thuy Anh Le, chairwoman of the committee, said the recommendation was made after reviewing the program’s results since it was implemented in the 2008-09 school year.

Le said the program showed “inconclusive reports” and the goal of an annual 5 percent reduction in drug use was not met.

But the board tabled a vote on ending the policy after members failed to reach a consensus and decided more input from parents was needed.

The target population of the tests were students in grades 9-12 who were involved in athletics, extracurricular and co-curricular activities, had parking permits and those who chose to participate in the program with parental consent. That totaled about 94 percent of the school’s enrollment.

In the 2011-12 school year, 50 students were tested and six positive test results were found. The tests revealed marijuana use.

In the 2010-11 school year, 199 students were tested and eight positive results for marijuana were recorded.

In the 2009-10 school year, 189 students were tested and seven positive results for marijuana were recorded.

In the 2008-09 school year, 200 students were tested and five positive results for marijuana and opiates were recorded.

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