Sep 28, 2010 10:53 AM by Nichole Larkey
CENTRAL, La. - The Central Community school system will
test its students for drugs using hair samples, but not for at least two more weeks.
The school board unanimously voted Monday to immediately restart urinalysis drug testing for students until a more-detailed policy for hair testing is crafted.
Board President Sharon Browning said the board supports using hair samples for drug analysis in spite of criticisms that have come from parents over the past month concerning student privacy.
She said she is hopeful the policy will be ready to vote on by the next meeting in two weeks.
This school year, the school board introduced a new drug-testing policy for students who drive to school or who participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports. The test involves using hair strands instead of urine samples for analysis. The new test using hair samples is more than 10 times more expensive as using
urine samples, and checks for drug activity over 90 days, rather than 30 days.
Last week, the school board held a committee meeting to discuss the new drug policy and address parents' concerns.
Superintendent Mike Faulk said it became apparent at the committee meeting that the test-taking procedures needed to be changed.
"We were having students getting tested in the auditorium in front of everybody," Faulk said. "That's an example of something that we realized wasn't OK, so we're going to clean up the details."
Until a new drug-testing policy is approved, the school system reverts to using urinalysis, which the system is moving away from because Faulk and Athletic Director Sid Edwards have said it's too easy to fabricate results of such tests.