PLANO, Ill. (CBS) — A suburban high school is doing something that could spark a nation-wide debate: drug-testing students randomly.
But 100 percent of parents are in favor of the program, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
At Plano High School, any student at any minute on any given day could be pulled out of class and tested for drugs.
Assistant principal Laurel Mateyka says administrators started the random testing two years ago to combat increased drug use among students. The program gives students a reason to say no to peer pressure and, if needed, to get some help.
“It is an option. About 50 percent of our students who do test positive take that option,” Mateyka says. “The incentive for taking that option is that the social probation that we institute with a positive result is reduced.”
Here’s how it works. Every month, a company uses a computer to randomly pick six students — about 1 percent of the school’s population — for testing. Of the 103 teens tested so far, 11 tested positive.
Senior Jonathan Pickett has been tested twice, and passed.
Classmate Dahlia Mijarez says there are some benefits. Even though most students don’t like it, it gives them a peer-pressure out, she says.
“Because they see other students who have been tested who have been caught. They know that it’s a real issue now,” Mijarez says.
That may be why 100 percent of Plano’s parents have now signed a consent form.
If a parent doesn’t sign a consent form and his or her student is picked, it’s considered a positive result.
It costs the district just over $38 to test each student — about $,1800 a year.