Support for drug testing grows at Crestview

COLUMBIANA – Crestview students participating in school activities or even planning to drive to school may soon find themselves in a pool of students agreeing to be tested for drugs.

Board member Dr. Edward Miller said the idea of the plan is not to punish students, but to help them become more productive citizens in the future.

“I’m sure if you go down to the elementary and talk to the students, not one of those kids will say they want to be a heroin addict when they grow up,” Miller said.

While drug use may not be a huge problem at Crestview schools, Miller said it is important not to put their “heads in the sand” either. Drug use is increasing across the county.

Miller said the hope is to help students fight addiction now while they are young, instead of later when they are trying to make a living. He added, keeping them clean through high school can help them become employed in lucrative fields after graduation and lead to success.

Although the entire policy has not been determined yet, Miller explained he would like to see everyone involved in an activity given a number, which will be drawn randomly. For those not involved in activities, if their parents would like them in the program the parents can choose to have them opt-in.

The testing will be done anonymously.

Being involved in more than one activity will not cause a student to be more likely to be tested. Each student will only be given one number.

The test will be a urine test with a same-sex person going into the restroom with the students, but not into bathroom stalls.

Of those tested, some will be tested for all sorts of illegal drugs. Some will be also tested for steroids. Miller explained the steroid test is much more expensive than the illegal drug test, but none of the students will know which drugs their sample has been chosen to be tested for. The typical drug test is $15 while steroid testing costs $89.

Those testing positive will be given the opportunity to provide a doctor’s prescription for the drug before any action would be taken. A refusal to take the test would be considered an admission to use.

Superintendent John Dilling pointed out the athletic council and the superintendent’s advisory committee have also been looking at the proposed program and it seems to be gaining support.