Private school in Indiana explains impact of random drug tests
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Trinity High School in Louisville is about to start randomly drug testing its students and reached out to a private school in Clarksville for advice.
Our Lady of Providence Junior-Senior High School has been testing its students now for two years and school administrators say it works.
"This was our way of helping them," said Providence President Joan Hurley.
She says it's how the school helps educate every aspect of a child's life.
"That includes the spiritual side,” said Hurley. “If you're not spiritually healthy and healthy in your body and your mind, you can't be academically challenged."
To make sure students remain healthy and drug-free, Providence conducts two random drug tests a year: once in the fall and again in the spring. Every student must provide a hair sample.
"They themselves take the sample and put it into the package and seal it and then initial it and then it's sent off," said Hurley.
Parents were notified before the testing began.
"Well I didn't really have any problems with it," said Kirk Prather whose son just graduated.
"There's some pressure to go out and drink but he didn't mention as much about using drugs, but it's good to keep track of that I think," said Prather.
Prather's daughter is now a freshman. She's one of about 500 students at the 7-12 Catholic school where peer pressure is a big concern.
"I think it's a good idea," said Brinley Prather. “There's a lot of peer pressure like if someone has a friend who does it, they want to get them on it too because they think it feels good. But there could still be some in a Christian school too."
Hurley says the test is not meant to be a punishment but to help those who might need it. And only a handful of students have ever tested positive.
For those at Trinity against the new rule, Hurley offers this advice.
"Give it a chance. It's a wonderful program and our students thanked us for it," she said. “If we can help them, that's what it's about."
The students have already completed both rounds of drug testing for this school year, the next one begins in the fall.
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