A new high stakes test: Woodward Academy will screen its students for drugs. Good idea for all schools?

Several Woodward Academy parents sent me notes a few weeks ago about a surprising letter that came home from the College Park private school announcing that students will be subjected to random drug tests starting in fall of 2013.

Those parents were not happy about the plan to test randomly selected students. Many private schools around the country   test their students for drugs, although there is debate over the efficacy of such policies.

One Woodward parent wrote: “I’m completely opposed to the  school’s decision…It’s interesting to note that all studies conducted in regards to student drug testing indicate that these programs are ineffective at reducing drug use.”  Another told me: “I am considering other schools for my son next year.”

I went to the National Institute on Drug Abuse web site for background on student drug testing and found this question and answer:

What has research determined about the utility of random drug tests in schools?

There is not very much research in this area, and the early research shows mixed results. A study published in 2007 (Goldberg et al, J. Adolesc Health, 41: 421-29, 2007) found that student athletes who participated in randomized drug testing had overall rates of drug use similar to students who did not take part in the program, and in fact some indicators of future drug abuse increased among those participating in the drug testing program. Because of the limited number of studies on this topic more research is warranted.

In 2011, researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania found that male students in high schools that drug test report no less recent use of alcohol, marijuana, or cigarettes than peers in schools that don’t test. However, the study found that drug testing could be effective with female students, but only in schools “that have good social climates, where the students and adults respect each other and the rules of the school are clear and enforced fairly.”

At the time, study co-author Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent and Health Communication Institutes of APPC, said, “This study sends a cautionary note to the estimated 20 percent or more of high schools that have joined the drug testing bandwagon. We find little evidence that this approach to minimizing teen drug use is having the deterrent effect its proponents claim. And only in schools that have a very good school climate, reported by about a third of students, does this intervention exert a protective influence on adolescent girls. Schools that have joined the rush to implement testing should ask themselves whether this strategy has been oversold.”

If Woodward students fail their first urine test, they won’t be kicked out of the school. However, a second positive test for drugs will lead to the child’s withdrawal or dismissal from the school, according to the AJC story. In the story , the school says most parents are pleased with the policy.

If you were a parent, how would this decision sit with you?

Here is an excerpt of the AJC story on Woodward:

The elite private school where tuition is $21,950 a year will start random drug testing students in grades nine through 12 next fall. School President Stuart Gulley said the testing will be done not because there’s hard evidence of drug abuse at the school but because of a “large number of anecdotal accounts of drug use not just at Woodward, but throughout metro Atlanta.”

Students will be randomly selected and tested. The goal is to test 40 percent of the approximately 1,000 students at the academy’s high school level by the end of the year. Teachers and administrators — including Gulley — will also be randomly tested.

“There’s certainly the impulse to be aggressive about this,” said Paul Bianchi, the headmaster at the Paideia School, which instead of testing for drugs focuses on drug education. “But I think [random drug tests] create too much of an adversarial relationship in the school between adults and students.”

Woodward has no hard evidence of growing drug use by students, said Gulley, who can only remember two confirmed cases of students abusing drugs in his four years there. Still, parents have “overwhelmingly” embraced the testing plan, he said.

Suzy Ellis is one of them. “It gives students another opportunity to say ‘no’ to the peer pressure around them these days to do drugs,” said Ellis, whose daughter is a senior at the school. “They can say ‘no’ because my school tests for drugs and my parents might find out.”

Woodward says about half a dozen parents, such as Boyd Johnson, have questioned the testing. Johnson calls it an intrusion on “personal privacy rights and the parental role.”

“It’s almost guilty until proven innocent,” he said. “I think the school needs to be teaching the importance of privacy rights instead of having random drug testing.”

The tests, which will detect illegal and prescription drugs but not alcohol, will be administered about every two weeks. The results will be reported only to parents and the school’s administration.

Wesleyan Athletic Director Marc Khedouri adopted the random testing policy at the school when he was dean of students. He said it has reduced drug problems at Wesleyan and not hurt enrollment.

“We’ve probably talked to five or six other schools that are in the process of considering adopting a random testing policy,” he said. “Woodward isn’t the only one. There will be others.”

Like Paideia, some other private schools — including the Lovett School and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School — are stressing drug education over testing.

The schools only test a student if there’s a strong suspicion that he has used drugs. “You’re not educating the student’s best self” when he is taking drugs, said Bianchi, Paideia’s headmaster. “… That’s part of the deal that you’re going to try hard and grow, academically and in personal ways. If you’re under the influence … not everyone is entering into a clear-minded contract.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has successfully sued public school districts in state and federal courts for violating students’ civil rights through random drug testing. Public schools now have to prove that drug use is a danger to students before testing them.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

122 comments Add your comment

FBT

October 1st, 2012
10:55 pm

I personally don’t like the idea of schools testing students for drugs, but it’s a private school and has every right to test.
I don’t think referring to the school as elite or disclosing the annual tuition has any relevance to the story.

Woodward Dad

October 1st, 2012
11:10 pm

As a Woodward parent with both a boy and girl, I wholeheartedly endorse the new random drug testing policy. Unfortunately, drug misuse, whether prescription or illegal, is a national problem. Just look at the celebrities and national figures who have become addicted to legally prescribed medications that are in many families medicine cabinets today. Our young adults need to understand that if they hope to get a job after school they will probably have to pass a drug test with a potential employer. Passing a drug test is almost mandatory for any job today, even working in a fast food restaurant. The ability to say “No, my school randomly tests for drugs” is a powerful tool to help children avoid peer pressure. And as your story noted, any Woodward student who fails a drug test will get professional help and not be removed from school for the first offense. That is a constructive use of random testing which may help those children with their problem who don’t know how to ask for help. After all, they are still our children. I comment Dr. Gulley and the leadership staff at Woodward Academy for their strong leadership in this endeavor.

Atlanta Mom

October 1st, 2012
11:11 pm

My husband and I both oppose random drug testing, but we come at it from different ends of the spectrum. I oppose all random testing, because I think there should be some reason for an indivdual to be tested. My husband opposes testing because he doesn’t think it will be random at all.

Atlanta Mom

October 1st, 2012
11:15 pm

” However, a second positive test for drugs will lead to the child’s withdrawal or dismissal from the school”
And guess where those students end up–back in the public schools, because they have to take everyone.

Jim Chaput

October 1st, 2012
11:26 pm

By their own admission, drugs are not a problem at Woodward, so what will this testing program accomplish? I would pull my kid would be out of there when they handed out the first pee cup.

Catholic School Parent - KUDOS TO WOODWARD!

October 1st, 2012
11:48 pm

How is drug testing in a private school environment attempting to enforce a culture of high personal character an intrusion of civil rights? Good grief. Newsflash to the handful of parents opposing this at Woodward – it is a private school and the policy is one that will help you in your parental role. And if you don’t like it, you have a choice – spend your tuition dollars elsewhere or put them in the public schools down there where you’ll see firsthand what a “Civil Rights” type drug policy does for a school :) . NOTHING.

crankee-yankee

October 2nd, 2012
12:13 am

“large number of anecdotal accounts of drug use not just at Woodward, but throughout metro Atlanta.”

I heard there might be drug use in the city of Atlanta so I’m going to assume my students are in the middle of it. Lame reason in my book. Private schools can do what they want, be upfront about it…

bootney farnsworth

October 2nd, 2012
1:42 am

not without reasonable suspicion, hell no.

I would tell a child in my care to politely refuse, and if the school has an issue to call me

bootney farnsworth

October 2nd, 2012
1:44 am

what the hell…its only civil rights.
not like they’re of much use lately.

bootney farnsworth

October 2nd, 2012
1:47 am

can’t help but wonder if Woodward Dad will be so gung ho when his kid actually has to piss in a cup for no good damn reason.

BehindEnemyLines

October 2nd, 2012
2:02 am

I applaud the Woodward Academy administration for taking a proactive step. Hope to my son’s school follow suit.

jw

October 2nd, 2012
3:29 am

Mr. Johnson hit the nail on the head, it’s yet another intrusion on personal privacy and the rights of parents. Let’s add nanny school to nanny state. I get that they are a private school, but I think Paideia, Lovett and Holy Innocents have it right in emphasizing education about drug use/abuse.

Striking Woodward off our list for HS unless this policy changes. Very sad about that.

dubious

October 2nd, 2012
6:22 am

Not only is it intrusive and insulting to students to presume guilt, it also doesn’t reduce drug use. It might seem counter intuitive, but while the message the school wants to send is “Don’t do drugs, You might get caught,” the message the student hears is “Everybody is doing drugs. How bad can they be?” When you randomly test students without cause, you send them the message that drug use is very common and everyone is doing it. You actually encourage drug experimentation.

Woodward won’t be testing for alcohol, they are ignoring the substance most commonly abused by teens.

Given that there is no evidence that random testing reduces drug use, and it clearly creates an adversarial relationship between students and the school, I don’t see any upside to this policy. A private school can do what it wants, but I wouldn’t send my kid there. Not because of the drug testing, but because of what this policy reveals about the decision making process at the school.

bootney farnsworth

October 2nd, 2012
6:24 am

pre marital sex is a big issue locally. as a preventative, Woodword should force every girl on the pill and require a DNA sample from every boy.

just in case. its a problem, after all.

a reader

October 2nd, 2012
6:39 am

How does this policy (and a potential positive result) work with the new state law that is now requiring all schools (including privates) to report alcohol and drug violations to the state via the school district the child lives in?

Yes, that’s right – we got a letter from child’s school saying they are no longer permitted to discipline in house. If a child has an alcohol violoation and lives in, say, Cobb county, they are now required to also notify Cobb county schools which will notify the state / DDS.

Why did no one hear of this law when it was being proposed / passed? Why can’t private schools continue to police in-house? Want to bet that the good privates do report all violations and the publics only report some kids?

John Konop

October 2nd, 2012
6:42 am

This is a very gray issue. In New York they are given out free contraception in high risk high schools. Obviously issues like drugs and teenage pregnancy can be very difficult weight put on a teenager. Yet as a parent how far should a public school go without parental permission? As a private school you have a choice, but in public school most cannot afford to just move their kid to a private school if they do not like the policy.

The second part is how we deal with youthful mistakes. It seems we are way to quick to punish over treatment. At the end is not a drug issue a health issue? As a society we have put major hurdles on kids via crimalizing over treatment. This has had the biggest impact on kids who parents cannot afford the justice system ie lawyers, rehab……..And at the end we all pay via destroying the kids future ie prison, welfare…….

T

October 2nd, 2012
7:06 am

When there is a question like this I default to liberty. I am against any form of drugs testing. If a teacher or school administrator cannot see that a student has a drug or alcohol problem by their behavior there is not a problem. I went to college with a person that had been in a overly protective school setting like this. With the first taste of freedom, came a massive drug and alcohol problem. Let kids live their lives without an overly busybody administrator looking over their shoulders.

Fred ™

October 2nd, 2012
7:07 am

Many employers require drug testing. The military requires it. You people yelling civil rights are morons. Woodward is a PRIVATE school. You don’t like the policy? Don’t send your kids there. We won’t miss them.

Reality

October 2nd, 2012
7:30 am

What’s your concerns. This is preparing your kids for the real world. I have been subject to at random drug testing in the work place since 1989. It has made for a safer place to work and a safer enviroment for customer and clients. Do you want you doctor, aircraft mechanic, elevator rapairman, pilot, nurse, bus driver, to be a drug user? Of course you don’t. All employers do at least a prehire test. What would you rather have, finding out your child has an issue with drugs at a young age when you can have more of an impact with help, or find out when they are older, they can’t get a job or keep one because of a drug problem. The schools that do this should have rehab programs in place for people that can’t pass to get them the help they need. If we don’t start there with testing we will end up with more people sucking off of the goverment for benefits because they can’t keep a job.

teacher&mom

October 2nd, 2012
7:54 am

There are public school districts that randomly drug test their high school students.

Really

October 2nd, 2012
8:19 am

I went to private school where they did this. It was a total waste of effort I thought. It too a lot of focus off education. We had half the “popular kids” in trouble after music midtown one year, making the class rooms empty. Schools do not get involved in the social aspects of teenage life. Every time someone failed it was for marijuana. You would think kids would steer away from it, but actually it made the punishment a badge of honor, compared to my sisters public school was all underground and hush hush. A lot of the teachers tend to sink down to the immaturity of the teenagers when this happens. Where I work now we randomly drug test, its totally different making a youthful mistake. This needs to be a parents issue not a school issue.

FYI A basic urine test will not pick up on the harder drugs such as pills, heroin and meth. The only thing that you are really testing for is pot and cocaine unless they really shell out some money.

PS The kids who failed the test became successful at life and the kids who passed became successful at life.

Rick C

October 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

Woodward Dad, let’s be real here. If any drug tests come back positive, the vast majority will be for cannabis. Opiates and benzos are usually out of the system in a few days. Smoke weed once or twice though, and it can be in your system for weeks or longer.

Reality, obviously I’m sure we’d all agree that people in those professions need to be sober at work. But what they do on their own time is no concern of mine.

Woodward Dad

October 2nd, 2012
8:32 am

Farnsworth,

I don’t mind if my child is randomly asked to fill up a cup. My employer had me do it and also ran a credit check on me too. I agree that a lot of our rights have been restricted but it’s because others have not acted responsibly. I always drive at or below the speed limit. My kids ask “Why so slow” since everyone else is passing me? But whenever we come to a trooper everyone slams on brakes, except me. I tell my kids if you obey the rules you have nothing to fear. The same goes for drug testing.

We live in a nation of laws and rules. Our society seems to have become even more segregated today between those who follow the rules and those who believe their rights are being compromised if they have to follow them. Public obsenity, illegal drug use, poor work ethic, lack of respect for others, etc. have all been tolerated on the presumption people’s “rights” are being denied if they can’t act as they choose. The attitude that we can do as we please without consequences or only obey the rules that suit us is what’s tearing at our national fabric. Telling a child they should refuse a random drug test by an adult we have charged with their protection is an afront to authority and isn’t a trait I want instilled in either my son or daughter.

If following the rules and wanting your child’s education to be offered in a safe, professional manner is not to you liking then Woodward Academy is probably not the place for you. But if you want a school that encourages individual responsibility, is academicly challenging and teachs respect for yourself and others then you should consider Woodward.

Entitlement Society

October 2nd, 2012
8:35 am

As a fellow private school parent (not Woodward), amen Woodward Dad! Well said!!

Rick C

October 2nd, 2012
8:37 am

How is forcing random drug testing “encouraging individual responsibility?”

Head Scratcher

October 2nd, 2012
8:41 am

This is more of the ‘Tried and Not-so-True . . . War on drugs’ thinking. Look for the reasons that people and little people use drugs. Get them help. Educate them and their families. But penalizing them with dismissal from this fine school is not the answer.

Wolves Mom

October 2nd, 2012
8:46 am

Great idea. Both of my kids work for companies that drug test. Welcome to the real world. These parents are investing a huge amount of money in their childs education and want some return on their money.

Head Scratcher

October 2nd, 2012
8:49 am

@Woodward Dad,

Your points are all valid. I’d just say that there is quite a difference between ‘encouraging individual responsibility’ and cramming adulthood down the throats of young people. They are still at the age where they should have the ability to screw up and have responsible adults get them back on track. Drug use, illegal or legal, doesn’t make you the scum of the earth. You either like to get high or you’re looking for an outlet of some sort.

It really becomes a problem when you resort to doing illegal things to support the addiction. Most of these kids who get high are doing so at their parents expense or helping themselves to the medicine cabinets at home. None of which should result in dismissal from school.

a reader

October 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Again, I ask, how will this work with the new (required) reporting in GA? Will a single positive private school drug test be requried to be reported to the state? That’s my problem with this – it’s not just an in-house thing anymore that a parent is choosing. The state is getting involved too.

Maureen Downey

October 2nd, 2012
9:02 am

@To all, Had more time this morning to look at research on this and found this study:

In 2011, researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania found that male students in high schools that drug test report no less recent use of alcohol, marijuana, or cigarettes than peers in schools that don’t test. However, the study found that drug testing could be effective with female students, but only in schools “that have good social climates, where the students and adults respect each other and the rules of the school are clear and enforced fairly.”

At the time, study co-author Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent and Health Communication Institutes of APPC, said, “This study sends a cautionary note to the estimated 20 percent or more of high schools that have joined the drug testing bandwagon. We find little evidence that this approach to minimizing teen drug use is having the deterrent effect its proponents claim. And only in schools that have a very good school climate, reported by about a third of students, does this intervention exert a protective influence on adolescent girls. Schools that have joined the rush to implement testing should ask themselves whether this strategy has been oversold.”

Fred ™

October 2nd, 2012
9:07 am

Good. I have a daughter lol.

AlreadySheared

October 2nd, 2012
9:18 am

1) Good idea – test away. Oddly, the people who decry this as an invasion of privacy would likely also be the first people to tell you that adolescent brains are not fully formed, people don’t reach full cognitive maturity until around age 25, and so we need to temper our responses teenage misconduct.

If that’s so, let’s help these immature minds make a correct decision about substance abuse now by helping them understand that there may be consequences to their actions because they may be caught.

2) Any student who passes a random drug test has been, in effect, falsely accused. He or she should be entitled to liquidated damages of say, $20 (or maybe $50 – it’s private school & these are spoiled rich kids). Then the innocent would be lining up for a drug test; only the guilty would have anything to fear.

Aquagirl

October 2nd, 2012
9:32 am

A home testing kit is what…$25? You can test your kid on a Sunday night after they’ve been out all weekend and you won’t disrupt their school day.

Parents who want the school to handle this for them are either lazy or too concerned about being their child’s buddy.

Tychus Findlay

October 2nd, 2012
9:33 am

It’s a private school and they are entitled to enforce any policy they so choose since attendance is by choice.

In a public school environment, this is unconstitutional.

Woodward Dad

October 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

Two points of clarification. The Woodward policy is NOT to remove the child from school on the first offense but to get them professional help. This is not turning your back on the child but reaching out to help them. We all make mistakes. With help and understanding, we try not to make them again. Woodward’s policy tries to do just that.

Second, “a reader” asked if this information has to be reported to law enforcement. Good question. I am not a lawyer but I found Ga Code Section 20-2-1184 that requires notification of local law enforcement if a public or private school believes any illegal action involving the use marijuana or a controlled substance was committed on school property (along with a list of other illegal activities as well). If an administrator has any “reasonable cause to believe” a student is using drugs “upon school property or at any school function” they have to report them under existing Georgia law. So with or without the random drug test, any public or private school would have to report a student if there was a reasonable cause to believe the use was on school property. Good catch.

AngryRedMarsWoman

October 2nd, 2012
9:43 am

My son attends a private high school that does not have random drug testing – I would be very vocal in my opposition if they proposed it. Bottom line for me is that random testing is lazy, and I don’t pay $20k per year for lazy. With a student:teacher ratio of 6:1 I expect the teachers and admin to be “present” and know all of these kids well enough to see even the slightest evidence of drug use and then test on that suspicion with my input. Woodward is a much bigger school (1,000+ high schoolers), so maybe they need to test randomly – in our school, with 10-12 kids in a classroom, a teacher who can’t pick up on things (eg drug use, depression, violence, etc) needs to go elsewhere.

Centrist

October 2nd, 2012
9:45 am

Obvious that this biased piece opposes random drug testing – two parent opposition quotes, and nobody supporting it.

And what’s up with a parent who is now considering another school for her son over this single minor issue? Is she pro drug use for her son and doesn’t want him caught?

what's best for kids???

October 2nd, 2012
9:55 am

Mine are in public school, but I will be doing my own random drug tests on my children…a lot of random drug tests.
Woodward is a private school. If I could afford it, I would love for my children to attend. If the policy is drug tests, then the policy is drug tests. If the parents are so against it, they can send their children elsewhere.

Woodward Dad

October 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

Maureen,

Your study hit the nail squarely on the head. You said the program works for girls in schools “that have good social climates, where the students and adults respect each other and the rules of the school are clear and enforced fairly.”

Woodward Academy requires every student, and parent, to sign annually a Code of Conduct for attending Woodward Academy. I suspect many other private schools do as well. There are rules, they are very public, and are enforced fairly. It is just the same as when I attended DeKalb County schools in the 50’s and 60’s. Shirt tails in, no blue jeans, clean hair cuts, no profanity and appropriate dress length for girls. How things have changed.

Will random drug testing stop children from experimenting with drugs? No. But it can make the school environment better for all students so they can do what they are supposed to do in school: get a quality education.

Spartacus

October 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

No problem here. For those who have a problem, pull your kid out of Woodward or don’t apply there. There’s 20 kids in line behind you ready to take your spot. If Woodward has problems filling their school b/c of this new policy, I’m sure the policy will change quickly. Somehow, I think that will happen when the sun no longer shines……

John Konop

October 2nd, 2012
10:09 am

……..Second, “a reader” asked if this information has to be reported to law enforcement. Good question. I am not a lawyer but I found Ga Code Section 20-2-1184 that requires notification of local law enforcement if a public or private school believes any illegal action involving the use marijuana or a controlled substance was committed on school property (along with a list of other illegal activities as well). If an administrator has any “reasonable cause to believe” a student is using drugs “upon school property or at any school function” they have to report them under existing Georgia law. So with or without the random drug test, any public or private school would have to report a student if there was a reasonable cause to believe the use was on school property. Good catch……….

In all due respect this is a problem, the criminalization of health issues. This is especially hard on families with lower incomes that cannot afford……………

concernedmom30329

October 2nd, 2012
10:17 am

The point is missed here. Enrolling your child at Woodward is a choice. Just like all private schools, they are selling a product. You either buy it as is or you don’t. At the end of the day, for some parents such a policy be a negative, but that is how the free market works.
By the way, this is why vouchers will never really work. Parents who use them would expect the government to intervene in decisions like this.

Inman Parker

October 2nd, 2012
10:32 am

But you see, Woodward is a private school so parents can vote with their feet. If they don’t like the rule, there is a nice, drug infested public school right down the street.

AngryRedMarsWoman

October 2nd, 2012
10:37 am

Let’s try this again…my last post must have wound up in the black hole. My son attends a private school that does not randomly test – I would be very vocal in my opposition if the school proposed it. The bottom line for me is that random testing is lazy, and I don’t spend $20k per year for lazy. I pay for a student:teacher ratio of 6:1 and expect the adults in the school to be “present” and really know each one of these kids and be able to pick up on evidence of drug use or other problems. With 10-12 kids in a classroom any teacher who does not (or can not) notice when a kid is on drugs (or depressed, or in an abusive relationship, etc) and do something about it (with my input) needs to move on or be moved out. Woodward is a bigger school (with 1,000+ in the high school), so maybe they can’t keep such a close eye on every single child – I expect more from my school and the adults in it. We too sign all sorts of pledges – from honor code to parents agreeing not to allow wild parties – random testing goes too far in my humble opinion. Just my $0.02.

Atlanta Mom

October 2nd, 2012
10:42 am

I agree with Aqua Girl. If parents think this is such a good idea–do it in the privacy of your own home. Or is that too hard?
I also agree with everyone who says Woodward is a private school and can have whatever rules it likes. But then I wonder, are you teaching your children to follow the rules–no matter what?

YALLOweMe

October 2nd, 2012
10:50 am

Most comment makers here don’t have children at Woodward. Why do you care? It’s a private school and it’s none of your business if your children don’t go there. Y’all libs always want to meddle in other people’s business.

John Konop

October 2nd, 2012
10:55 am

….Most comment makers here don’t have children at Woodward. Why do you care? It’s a private school and it’s none of your business if your children don’t go there. Y’all libs always want to meddle in other people’s business….

Did you even read the title ie “ALL SCHOOLS”?

….A new high stakes test: Woodward Academy will screen its students for drugs. Good idea for all schools?….

YALLOweMe

October 2nd, 2012
10:59 am

A very interesting opposition indeed. Many k-12 private schools in metro Atlanta have implemented this random drug test policy and parents have to sign a contract before enrolling their children. I personally have no objections to this contract. There were maybe two parents in our school who are vehemently against it. For all you private school parents out there, see if you can find a common thread of these oppossing parents. In our case, their children are atheletes (not the best ones, though) in our high school.

Centrist

October 2nd, 2012
10:59 am

If Woodward made it’s decisions based on the AJC, Maureen Downey, and the majority of liberal readership sensibilities – they would not have implemented this new policy.

But they don’t.

The tag question above in the headline is “Good idea for all schools?” Probably not worth the expense of litigation when civil rights groups and parents of suspended students sued. But it would be a deterrent, and trigger help for those troubled teens whose parents cared.

The military and many, many companies care – and they don’t hire and weed out the abusers. It would be logical to deter and catch some early for some intervention, but logic is often trumped by our legal system.

Woodward Dad

October 2nd, 2012
11:03 am

Atlanta mom,

Yes, I am teaching my children to follow the rules whether they like them or not. And for rules they don’t like, I hope I am teaching them to work to change them. How do you change rules or laws you don’t like? By building consensus through persuasion, logic, education and/or good common sense.

Just because Woodward does random testing doesn’t mean I will not test at home. It’s my responsibility to protect my children, whether at home or in school for the 8-10 hours a day they are not under my direct supervision. I appreciate Woodward’s random drug testing, having sports trainers on the field at practice and games and having tutorials after school before sports practice begins. Would my child survive without all the above. Probably. But again, this all makes for a safer, more pleasant environment for my children to become the best student, and eventually adult, they can be.