ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) – A suburban Catholic high school was set to begin random alcohol tests on students on Monday.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights has conducted random drug tests of students since 2007, and has now added random alcohol tests – becoming the first in the Chicago area, and possibly the state, to check students for underage drinking.
Beginning Monday morning, 10 to 20 students will be selected at random to provide hair samples, which will be sent to a testing company to check for drugs and alcohol. Results should be back in less than a week.
Any student who tests positive would have to meet with school officials and their parents, and take a second test in 90 days. A second failed test would lead to disciplinary action.
Each week, 10 to 20 students will be picked at random for the tests.
Supporters said the tests are all about student safety.
“We’re adding this test, because we care about our kids, and we want them to be the best that God created them to be,” said Rev. Corey Brost, the principal at St. Viator.
St. Viator parent Joe Farwell said, “It’s a great vehicle for them to understand that, if you’re not going to be accountable to your parents, you’re going to be accountable to somebody.”
Even some students said they think the tests will make an impact on student behavior.
“Kids fear getting suspended from school, or detentions even, and maybe whatever their parents do if they find out,” said Miguel Aguilar.
Student Danny Walsh said there is pressure to drink among adolescents.
“I think if you’re at a party, or something, and you see other people doing it that are your age, you kind of get the feeling that you should do it, too,” Walsh said.
School officials said most parents they have heard from support the plan.