Under the Hopewell’s random drug testing program, students who do not meet the requirements and who may want to be part of it can choose to “opt in” for random drug testing. It would apply to a handful of students.
Students who want to “opt out” can do so by filling out an “activity drop form” that indicates he or she will not be taking part in sports or other after-school activities, and will give up the parking permit.
Under the program, students will be assigned a number, which will be shared with an outside laboratory that will select students at random to be tested. It is expected that six students per week will be chosen every week, or about 240 students annually out of the 1,200 students enrolled at the high school.
Although the list of drugs has not been determined, a typical random drug test “panel” may test for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, MDMA or ecstasy, GHB, steroids, synthetic cannabinoids, and alcohol.
The selected students will be escorted to the nurse’s office to submit a urine sample. The nurse will test the sample, and if it tests “positive” for the presence of drugs, it will be sent to a lab for confirmation. Measures will be taken to ensure that students cannot cheat and throw off the results.
If a student tests positive for drugs, he or she must attend at least five counseling sessions with the student assistance counselor within 30 calendar days. The student may attend a prevention/education program or complete an in-patient substance abuse rehabilitation program approved by the state Department of Health.
The student will be re-tested after completing the five counseling sessions. If the student tests positive again, he or she will lose privileges, such as the ability to take part in sports or after-school clubs and activities, for up to 15 days. Parking privileges will be suspended for 30 days.
The student will also have to attend a minimum of 10 counseling sessions with the student assistance counselor within 45 calendar days. He or she must attend prevention/education programs or complete an in-patient drug/alcohol rehabilitation program approved by the state Department of Health.
In all cases, the test results will remain confidential and will not become part of a student’s record for college or job applications. The record will be locked in a separate file, away from the student’s regular file.
The school district will not share the student’s individual test results with police. Federal rules restrict any use of the test results to investigate or prosecute any student, according to the random drug testing policy.