St. Mary Catholic Central to institute random drug testing in the fall

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Students and staff at St. Mary Catholic Central High School will undergo random drug testing come the fall.

"As a mom who's really concerned about what's out there it makes me feel good to know that we're really doing what we can to help the kids," says Michelle Burman, a mother of two students at the school.

In a survey of parents by the school about 80 percent supported the plan, according to school administrators, with some concerns over privacy rights.

The school says the new drug policy is not in response to any specific spike in drug and alcohol use but is meant to be another measure to keep everyone clean and on the right track.

And it gives a student a way out when pressured to party: all they have to say is they get tested at school.

"We know that there are students who experience things," says Principal Jenny Biler. "I don't think that's unusual in their day and age and we know that drugs are readily available."

Hair samples will be taken and tested.

Administrators say a computer program will randomly select the students, staff, teachers, and coaches throughout the school year but nobody will know when or how often.

"We don't want to encourage the students or anybody in the testing pool to game the system or play the odds," says school President Sean Jorgensen.

If students test positive they will not be thrown out of school but they will be banned from extracurricular activities and they will have to get the proper counseling and medical attention.

If a staff member fails a drug test, his or her job status would be reviewed.

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