Woodward to randomly drug test students next year

Woodward Academy will begin random drug testing on its high-school students next year.

According to 11Alive.com:

“Drug use by students is prevalent everywhere,” said Dr. Stuart Gulley, president at Woodward Academy. “It’s not just a Woodward problem; it’s an everywhere problem.”

“More and more, “everywhere” includes private schools. The newest study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance says 60% of teens believe their high school is quote “drug-infected”. That number is actually relatively consistent with prior years. But in private schools, the number has jumped from 36% to 54%….”

Woodward’s plan looks like this: every few weeks, a random selection of upper school students — 9th through 12th graders — will be tested by an outside firm for both illegal drugs and legal (for abuse only) drugs. Test positive once, and you get extra hours of community service among other punishments. Test positive twice, and you will be dismissed from the school.”

We talked just a few weeks ago about the prevalence of drugs in schools. This is one school’s solution but do you think it will help? Is it fair to the students that aren’t taking drugs?

Will drug testing help prevent drug use?  Should there have to be a suspicion of drug use? Would you let your child be randomly tested for drugs? How would you feel if your office randomly tested while you work? (A lot of employers test to hire but what about later?)

59 comments Add your comment

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
1:25 am

Oh Boy….this is not going to go over well with the Members of The Lucky Gene POOL Club! There will be Screams of OUTRAGE! Shouts of “THIS IS NOT FAIR!” and loud exchanges of How could they possibly Do this to US? We ARE NOT Drug Addicts! Do they NOT know WHO we ARE? Are they aware of how much MONEY my PARENTS donate to this school? We must have a meeting to Discuss this issue. ASAP!

Maureen Dowd’s telephone, is surely ringing off the Hook tonight. :)

Many Prescriptions for anxiety,depression and stress will be filled for this one, FOR SURE!

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
3:25 am

Actually these students are getting a year to clean up there act before this New Policy is implemented. Surely, if it were put into action tomorrow, a Third or more would certainly test positive for sure. A financial crisis of Woodwards own making would quickly ensue.

Passenger

September 12th, 2012
6:30 am

Bernie @ 1:25 a.m. Is exactly right. Just exactly with WHOM do these people think they are dealing? Oops. Poor choice of words there….but surely you caught the meaning. These children are parented by some clueless/in denial folks, in way too many cases. They will not be happy that Muffy. Biff,Trey and Jennifer are being “targeted”…..it is ON, Woodward!

Good for them...

September 12th, 2012
8:04 am

…wish more schools would do this –

And while I am being wishful, I wish the GHSA would crack down on those illegal recruiting schemes that brought down (finally) that basketball coach at Milton – it only took them about 10 years too long – he was doing that everywhere he went, and they are just now figuring it out? RRRRIIIIGGGGHHHTTTT….

Is it fair to the students that aren’t taking drugs?

September 12th, 2012
8:06 am

Uh, since when is life fair? Another learning curve update for kids…

Is it fair to the students that aren’t taking drugs?

September 12th, 2012
8:06 am

And, how do they know they are NOT taking drugs until they are tested?

RJ

September 12th, 2012
8:10 am

Since Woodward is a private school, the parents can choose to send their kids elsewhere. It’s really that simple. I went to school with rich kids and they did soooo many drugs. They drove expensive cars and had the money to get all the drugs they wanted. This should be a wake up call to some parents. Wish I could afford Woodward for my own child. It’s a phenomenal school.

The Dixie Diarist

September 12th, 2012
8:21 am

Take a cold shower, Bernie. Chill. Woodward will be fine, financially and otherwise. I can guarantee it.

The Dixie Diarist
President, Class of 1979

http://www.adixiediary.com

Jeff

September 12th, 2012
8:38 am

I can be drug tested at anytime at work. It’s part of that thing that comes with cashing the check they give me. If I disagree with my employer’s stance, I can simply stop cashing/accepting their check.

These kids are part of a private institution. If they don’t like it, they can go back to public school.

motherjanegoose

September 12th, 2012
8:45 am

OFF TOPIC…for everyone who complains to TWG, I just read this on Yahoo news:

Prince William say he would like to have 2 children with wife Kate

Maybe someone will see it and change it to SAYS.

http://news.yahoo.com/prince-william-2-children-wife-kate-093011792.html

ON TOPIC…if I spent money to send my children to a private school I would hope the other students would be a cut above what my free option, as a taxpayer, would be. Is that a false hope?

My children knew students who used drugs but they went to public school. Yes, I am in favor of testing. Jobs have testing. Why not schools? Did I miss something?

Annie

September 12th, 2012
8:51 am

I wish this was implimented in all schools. And for those using scholarships to attend college/university. I can be drug tested at any time at work. School is supposed to prepare our youth for life, well a drug test is part of life. If you aren’t using drugs there shouldn’t be a problem.

Have A Smile! ☺☻

September 12th, 2012
8:58 am

If you aren’t using drugs there shouldn’t be a problem.

This is the same remark as “if you’re not speeding you have nothing to worry about” for speed traps and “if you’re not guilty you have nothing to worry about” for a variety of other things like the TSA and being stopped when leaving a store.

A logical fallacy.

Whether or not I agree with this drug testing, that is definitely not the right way of thinking.

DB

September 12th, 2012
8:59 am

@Bernie and others: You don’t know what you’re talking about. My kids’ private school starting doing this four years ago. Here’s the deal: You don’t HAVE to be there. It’s a privilege to attend most of these private schools. If you don’t like it, you can leave. Period. You’ll find that most parents will not even whimper — one, because those that complain will probably find their kids tested first :-), and two, because no parent is ever 100% positive that their kid hasn’t tried something in the name of being “cool”. Personally, while I abhor the REASON for the drug testing — i.e., the prevalence of drugs in schools — I don’t think it’s an abridgment of their “civil liberties.” It’s a private school. You sign a lot of paperwork when you enroll, and this kind of thing is very clear — do it and you’re out. They make the rules (often with a great deal of input from parents — so you can bet this isn’t a surprise to most of them.) If this is what it takes to discourage drug use in these kids, then so be it. Personally, I think they should include the middle schoolers, too. And I’m surprised that there’s even a one strike. I’d be perfectly fine with “one strike and you’re out”. In other words: “DON”T DO DRUGS, STUPID.”

NOYB

September 12th, 2012
9:02 am

My fellow Americans are all too willing to give away the rights our forefathers fought so hard to achieve. Public schools cannot conduct mandatory random drug testing on the general population of it’s student body because it’s against the law.
If you listen to the 11Alive report, it clearly states that the studies conducted regarding random mandatory drug testing in schools does not deter drug use, so why sign on to an ineffective program? If schools are sincerely concerned about deterring drug usage, why not randomly test 100% of the student body throughout the school year? That’s probably up next. Our freedoms are taken away one step at a time.
Yet another instance where parents would rather hand over their responsibilities to the schools.

Patrick

September 12th, 2012
9:06 am

I think it should be a requirement for all schools. Doubly-so on school athletes. There’s already been a big crackdown on drug use in the professional leagues. Who’s to say that the star quarterback of your local high school, who might carry the team to the Regionals or Nationals, isn’t “juicing”?

When my grandmother taught high school, she benched the star quarterback and the head cheerleader, because they were failing her class. The parents of both students, along with the parents of the other team members, the team members themselves, and the coaches all gave her h*** for benching them. She stood her ground. The principal was on her side, as were, surprisingly, the other students in her class.

Aquagirl

September 12th, 2012
9:16 am

Drug tests are meaningless feel-good exercises, unless you know the sample is actually from that student. So you’re either for this or paying people to look at kids genitalia. Yeah, wonderful idea, Woodward.

mystery poster

September 12th, 2012
9:21 am

But I’m sure their parents’ use of Paxil is fine….

kay

September 12th, 2012
9:31 am

@ Is it fair….

You did read the parts about the tests being random right?

@ Aquagirl

Why did you assume the tests would not have the students name/info associated with it?

Money!

September 12th, 2012
9:32 am

Hey Woodward Kids! I’m selling clean urine, $250 a cup!

Aquagirl

September 12th, 2012
9:37 am

Why did you assume the tests would not have the students name/info associated with it?

kay, why do you assume that sample is from the student? Because they told you so? Seems like you could skip a lot of effort and just ask them if they’re using drugs.

Warrior Woman

September 12th, 2012
9:46 am

@ Have a Smile and NOYB – I agree. This is a policy that would be illegal at a public school, as it is an abrogation of civil liberties.

Since they also plan to test for legal drugs, the policy has problems – it is an invasion of medical privacy and may be impermissible even at a private school. I would not keep my kids in a school that was nosy enough to test for prescription medications. It is none of their business.

Beyond that, I don’t think they should be drug testing at all. Schools should stick to education. If behavior is an issue, deal with behavior, but don’t invade the entire student body’s privacy as a preventive measure.

@kay – Aquagirl’s point is that it is difficult to insure the name on the sample is actually the name of the person providing the sample.

mother of 2

September 12th, 2012
9:50 am

My older son went to a private school where we had to sign a contract indicating that drugs would not be tolerated and testing could be done at any time. Both parents and the student were required to sign the contract. We did so without complaint. There were students who were asked to leave the school because of drug use. Parents and students knew the rules and the consequences and there weren’t all that many problems.
This would be difficult to implement in public schools because of the large number of students who attend. I have a son in public school now and would be happy to sign the same contract that I signed for my older son.

Soccermom

September 12th, 2012
9:59 am

Drug testing is an invasion of privacy.

The point that is missed by the people who advocate athlete drug testing is that, for the most part, the tests that are run are for run-of-the-mill drugs such as pot and coke. Testing for steroids is expensive.

Random testing of the entire student population would be the fairest policy. But, at the very least, if they test student athletes, they should also test students in every other extracurricular activity. Where I come from, the band members are much more likely to be using (according to my children) :)

jarvis

September 12th, 2012
10:29 am

I like the term “Lucky Gene Pool Crowd”. Oh wait, no I don’t.
Makes it sound as though your lot in life is not your own. What a sad and hopeless outlook on life.

Good looks and intelligence are also products of a gene pool are they not?

jarvis

September 12th, 2012
10:31 am

On topic, this is private school. They can do whatever they want.

Another voice

September 12th, 2012
11:06 am

My high school (a private school in another town) had random drug testing of students AND faculty/staff. Again, if you don’t like the rules, you don’t have to choose to attend. As for the legal drugs they are testing for, I am assuming they are testing for the presence of higher dosages of legal drugs that have a high rate of abuse (oxycontin for one). You can easily check for levels of a drug in the sample, not just the presence. BTW, alcohol and nicotine are legal drugs for adults but shouldn’t be present in kids.

As for the collection process, I’m guessing they are using a private lab that has proven collection techniques. When I gave the urine sample for employment at my current job, I was ushered into a private bathroom and handed a specimen container. When I completed the “donation”, the specimen’s temperature was measured to make sure it was a “live” sample, not something I had smuggled in. There are ways to ensure it’s the student’s sample without someone having to “pay someone to watch a student’s genitals.”

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
11:09 am

The Dixie Diarist @ 8:21 am – My Poor lost in history Confederate Friend. This is not the WOODWARD ACADEMY of 1979. Trust me and I think you know it! Gone forever is that LOW RENT, Trailer park type of student, who once prided himself in the long and lost misguided study of the history of a failed CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC.

Woodward is now a school of social and economic ELITES. Children of the Professional and Business class of metro Atlanta. Where the student modes of transportation (CARS) are newer, better gas mileage and more stylish of those who have been charged to instruct them.

Not like in your day, when there were very few student cars of foreign design and even more rusted out Ford f-150’s, that only took up very parking spaces in a vast LOT.

Whereas Today’s the top students would be more of Indian and Asian descent. However, when you attended, there not a single minority enrolled or even being considered for enrollment much less being welcomed. As a matter of fact, during that time the only minority or person of color that could be found on school ground was more likely the school janitor.

A lot has changed since you were there. A change in students that reflect more diversity, wealth, worldly, more traveled as well as more socially and politically connected of ALL of the schools in the AREA. Nothing like you could even remotely find in the class of 1979. Your pride is linked to CONFEDERATE HISTORY and I am sure you and your past alumni members are proud of it. However, this crowd is FAR different from past students of your DAY. Like Night & DAY! literally…. and the cost to attend, well lets face it. Those of your time certainly would not be able to afford its present expense and that is the TRUTH.

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
11:15 am

in my haste…correction of errors….:)

The Dixie Diarist @ 8:21 am – My Poor lost in history Confederate Friend. This is not the WOODWARD ACADEMY of 1979. Trust me and I think you know it! Gone forever is that LOW RENT, Trailer park type of student, who once prided himself in the long and lost misguided study of the history of a failed CONFEDERATE REPUBLIC.

Woodward is now a school of social and economic ELITES. Children of the Professional and Business class of metro Atlanta. Where the student mode of transportation (CARS) are newer, better gas mileage and more stylish of those who have been charged to instruct them.

Not like in your day, when there were very few student cars of foreign design and even more rusted out Ford f-150’s, that took up very parking spaces in a vast LOT.

Whereas Today’s top students, would be more likely of Indian and Asian descent. However, when you attended, there not a single minority enrolled or even being considered for enrollment, much less being welcomed. As a matter of fact, during that time the only minority or person of color that could be found on the school grounds was more likely the school janitor.

A lot has changed since you were there. A change in students that reflect more diversity, wealth, worldly, more traveled, as well as being more socially and politically connected of ALL of the schools in the AREA. Nothing like you could even remotely find in the class of 1979. Your pride is linked to your proud CONFEDERATE HISTORY and I am sure you and your past alumni members are proud of it. However, this crowd is FAR different from past students of your DAY. Like Night & DAY! literally…. and the cost to attend, well lets face it. Those of your time certainly would not be able to afford its present expense and that is the TRUTH.

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
11:28 am

DB @ 8:59 am – My Friend, trust me on this. You are the one who is uninformed. Drug and Alcohol use among this crowd is off the charts. They have the funds and easy access to it. You can bet a significant number of them have already gone through at least one or more drug and rehabilitation program already. even at such a youthful age. You would never get a true and accurate account of that because these parents have the means to insure that this is never to be discovered or revealed to anyone. Not even the school itself would have an accurate and true accounting. These matters of decisions are only discussed and made in the Quiet Rooms, one Mitt Romney referred to previously.

Just because you signed a lot of papers and your revealing of your vast wealth. Does not prohibit SEAN and AMANDA from falling in to the same Ills of any inner city school student. They are all equal in that aspect of failure for sure. You may have your head in the sand but those of US who know and who are aware, understand why this process is being implemented. Its a Problem no doubt.

Techmom

September 12th, 2012
11:44 am

I’m ok with it if the purpose is to deter kids from using drugs. I think the fear of getting caught is enough for a lot of kids to say, “nah, I’ll wait.” I do wonder how “random” the testing will be. Maybe it will be like a the Hunger Games: they’ll put everyone’s name in a big drum and every time you get are tardy, make a zero or talk back to a teacher, you can your name put in an extra time thereby increases your chances of being tested! LOL

My son’s private school does not do drug testing but they do have policies that if you are caught with drugs on school campus, you will be expelled and if you are arrested off-campus for certain things (like drugs), they can expel you as well. A little fear goes a long way IMO and so far I don’t know of anyone that has been expelled in the 6 years my son has been at that school.

OK, Kay...

September 12th, 2012
11:55 am

..yiou lost me – what does random testing have to do with “is it fair”?

Denise

September 12th, 2012
11:57 am

When I was in private school we hadn’t gotten old enough yet for drugs but I learned plenty about sex and “pre-sex” activities from the rich white girls in those few years. Kissing parties where all you did was kiss and play spin the bottle? Going to parties without panties? Yeah, in the 5th grade. Co-ed slumber parties? Yep, in the 7th grade. They would find a black guy for me sometimes so I wouldn’t feel left out. (Yay thanks!) I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks experimented with drugs by the 9th grade. Their parents were at home when they had these parties and slumber parties but never came downstairs so they wouldn’t “interrupt”. (WTH?) I doubt seriously they would notice if the kids would smoke or snort downstairs until someone drug tested positive or was caught and then they’d catch the vapors and pass out from the “shock”.

Aquagirl

September 12th, 2012
12:00 pm

There are ways to ensure it’s the student’s sample without someone having to “pay someone to watch a student’s genitals.”

Because of course a student would never figure out a way to get a room temperature specimen close to body temperature without passing it out of their body.

A list of all these tricks was part of our standard drug and alcohol briefing in the military when they explained just why we had to produce under, er, close supervision. You’d be amazed at what some of those testing people had seen. They said there really is no way to make sure somebody’s urine is theirs without standing there and closely watching them pee in a cup. Since handling pee cups was their job, I’ve always accepted their opinion.

Anyway….Drug testing kits are available at any drugstore, why aren’t mommy and daddy doing this at home if they’re concerned about little Junior?

Denise

September 12th, 2012
12:18 pm

@Aquagirl – Is it because parents don’t really want to ADMIT they are concerned about Junior? I know my mother was in big time denial about my brother’s drinking until his fiance told her how big of a fool he acted one day. Talk about clutching her pearls! “I didn’t know he was drinking that much” from the woman who told his fiance “you have to be patient with him because he’s an alcoholic. But he’s really not that bad.”

jarvis

September 12th, 2012
12:21 pm

Augusta never came back, did she?
Man….you f’ers are mean.

PS

September 12th, 2012
12:22 pm

The difference between public schools and private schools is the drugs are more expensive in private schools. Growing up, it was a poorly kept secret that most private schools in my town had a HUGE drug problem on their hands. Much moreso than the public schools.

I’d agree a lot of it has to do with parents not really monitoring their kids. My parents were all up in my business growing up. I knew they’d go through my room any time they felt like it, so I never tried to hide anything there. I remember I hated it, but it kept me on the straight and narrow. Ha! I’m probably going to be similar with my kids.

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
12:25 pm

OK, Kay…@ 11:55 am – These would would be the comments of the students expressing outrage of this decision. Shouts of “THIS IS NOT FAIR!” of a change of policy of allowing them to do, as they have always wanted without any questionable oversight for the school or parents. trusting of the child’s honesty and integrity explicitly without question. A common trait used in parenting of the silver spooned ones.

Aquagirl

September 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Is it because parents don’t really want to ADMIT they are concerned about Junior?

Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

If people’s concern was their own child, they wouldn’t support tests at school—unless they’re too namby-pamby to hand their kid a cup themselves. This policy is so mommy and daddy think no “bad children” are around their precious little snowflake, who is OF COURSE not using drugs unless influenced by those “bad kids.” Drug testing offers them the soft, secure, fuzzy feeling that those awful children will be caught so they don’t have to worry about Junior. Ah, parent-free parenting, gotta love those private schools!

The idea their offspring IS the “bad kid” is unthinkable to these clueless folk. It’s always someone else’s kid that’s the root of the problem.

Jerry Sandusky

September 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

Is the lab who conducts the tests hiring?

Parent

September 12th, 2012
12:46 pm

So why not implement this policy at APS – oh, yeah, that’s right. They should drug test the teachers, too.

We have mandatory drug testing at my work also – pre-employment and post-accident. Wish we also had random drug testing.

Parent

September 12th, 2012
12:51 pm

“If you aren’t using drugs there shouldn’t be a problem.”

That is correct, and if you don’t speed, you don’t have to worry about a speeding ticket. If you think the speed limits are wrong, you can pressure your legislature to alter them. If they don’t change them when the majority wants, then you can vote them out. Remember the 55-mph speed limit?

Asking someone to pee in a cup is not an unreasonable request.

jarvis

September 12th, 2012
1:10 pm

As stated before, they are a private school and this is OK.

A public school would be completely different. My children have the same Constituational rights that I do. An agent of the government can’t demand anything of that sort without probable cause. I feel this would fall under a warrantless search.

HB

September 12th, 2012
1:18 pm

Yup, what jarvis said.

Denise

September 12th, 2012
1:46 pm

This is going to be good. I hope we get some follow-up data on this.

Even if the kids test positive their parents are going to blame it on the influence of their friends, not that Little Timmy is, in fact, a drug user. Or, even, take them out of the school because they have bad influences there, again, not facing the fact that THEIR kid could be the bad influence.

A lot of passing the buck is going to happen even after drug testing and positive results. The results are wrong. They switched the samples by accident (or on purpose to target this child). Blah, blah, blah.

Another question – will tuition money be used for these tests? I can see parents raising hell about that, too.

Lynn

September 12th, 2012
3:56 pm

What about the large private school in Atlanta that had students bring Alcohol on a retreat? When the Chaperone and Priest confiscated the liquor upon discovering a few drunk students, the parents had a meeting with the Head Master to complain about the invasion of privacy their sons and daughters experienced. The Administration then had the nerve to say they would discuss this with the involved adults since they didn’t seem to have a policy on bringing alcohol to school retreats and as such the students had no reason to expect that their suitcases would be searched and the illegal substances collected.

DB

September 12th, 2012
3:57 pm

@Bernie: Read what I said again, please, and stop making assumptions. I SAID that I was fine with drug testing, and I opined that most parents would be fine with it, too, contrary to your claim that the parents would revolt, NEVER did I say that the kids in private schools did not take drugs.

@Warrior Woman: it is an invasion of medical privacy and may be impermissible even at a private school. I would not keep my kids in a school that was nosy enough to test for prescription medications. It is none of their business.” I don’t know about you, but every year, I had to bring a physical exam record for each child, and fill out a rather extensive health and medications questionnaire. For us, it was relatively simple: “None”. But for some kids, especially those taking Ritalin or diabetic or on anti-convulsive meds — why WOULDN’T you want the school to know? Exclaiming that “It’s none of their business!” is short-sighted, especially if they are on a field trip or in case of an emergency.

.FJ

September 12th, 2012
4:29 pm

I think it is obnoxious, and like Warrior Woman said, nosy. I don’t think this would fly in our private school, but it is a very progressive school. This would bother me for sure.

Bernie

September 12th, 2012
6:36 pm

DB @ 3:57 pm – we obviously have a misunderstanding of each others comments and understanding. :) I have no info on weather the parents will or will not support this measure one way or the other nor have I alluded to that matter. Obviously the Parents must be on board or at least most of them with its testing, for it go forward in action. I would say that is why most likely it will be implemented next year instead of this year.

I would suggest you reread your own post and see that you are the one who made many assumptions and then even made it personal by talking of your kid. which has no bearing or relevance to this discussion. your comment was not concise in its point or direction. Actually it was wildly all over the place without any reference to the specific school or topic at hand which you never addressed. if you reread mine they all referenced the subject matter at hand.

The Dixie Diarist

September 12th, 2012
6:50 pm

Bernie, sweetie, you spend a lot of typing time not knowing what you’re talking about, and I’ll bet people tell you that all the time. Rock on.

BlondeHoney

September 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

Off topic but on topic at the same time, I was on my way to work downtown when a sweet Junior from Woodward driving a Chevy suburban rear-ended me right before the 17th street exit. She was very apologetic and called mommy immediately, who rolled up in her range rover right after the GSP officer arrived. Mommy stated “we put her in this car to keep her safe”. Hmmm my kids didn’t have cars until they could pay to support them. Just saying’