CASSTOWN — The Miami East Local Schools will be hosting an informational meeting regarding its new district drug testing program at 6 p.m. today, Sept. 7, at the high school.
Last June, the Miami East Local School Board voted unanimously to begin conducting random drug tests on students in grades 7-12 who are involved in extra-curricular activities.
Superintendent Dr. Todd Rappold said he has fielded nothing but positive remarks regarding the district’s move to conduct random drug screens beginning this fall.
“We thought it would be a good idea to bring back the (CEO of Great Lakes Biomedical Kyle Prueter) to answer parents’ questions during the school year,” said Rappold on Tuesday.
Rappold said the majority of questions he has received involves students and prescribed medications. Students who are selected to participate in the random drug screen will not be disciplined as long as there is a valid prescription in the student’s name for treatment by a medical professional at the time of the test.
All students and parents must sign a random drug test consent form or they will not be eligible to participate in the extra-curricular activities.
All drug screens will be held in the district’s clinic areas for privacy. No advance notice of the testing would be given. A refusal to do the test would be an automatic positive.
Rappold will serve as the designated contact to be notified of the random drug screens, the list of random students and its results. Rappold said all results will remain confidential.
Rappold said the district has record numbers of students participating in extra-curricular activities this year.
The Great Lakes Biomedical company will conduct the screenings.The district estimates it will spend $3-4,000 on the first year of testing using wellness grants to offset the cost of the tests.Drug test costs range from $15 to $20 per test depending on the number of panels or specific drug screen selected.
This fall will begin the district’s “pilot year.” Rappold said at the end of the year, he will sit down with administrators and make revisions and changes if needed.
Great Lakes Biomedical, the company conducting the tests, uses a computer-generated random number draw to select students to be tested on-site. Students may be tested more than once per season or school year. If a student participates in a fall sport and is tested in the spring and fails the test, the district would implement its discipline plan the next time the student participates in the sport or activity.
The Covington Exempted Village School District is the only school district in Miami County who also currently has a drug testing policy in place. The Covington school district finished its first full year of its drug testing policy in the spring with zero positive test results, according to school officials.
The Covington Local School district spent $1,410 on random student drug testing through Great Lakes Biomedical for the 2015-16 year, according to Superintendent Gene Gooding. The cost of the computer-generated random test pool, collection, testing, review and reporting of results is included in the drug test costs, according to Covington’s contract.
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