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Badin High will implement drug testing of students

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Badin High School will implement mandatory drug tests for all students beginning in January 2020, school officials have announced.

“This is in the best interests of the students,” Badin High Principal Brian Pendergest said. “The impact of drug use on young students and their families is staggering and our community is not immune to this issue. Being pro-active on drug testing is the appropriate action on our part.”

Badin High has been studying the issues regarding drugs, tobacco and alcohol for the past two years, been in discussions with other schools regarding best practices, and after serious consideration decided this was a policy that needed to be implemented.

“We’re talking about a health and wellness issue, not a punitive issue,” Pendergest emphasized. “For their own wellbeing, students should not be doing drugs. We want to help them make the right choices.”

Officials underlined that test results would be strictly confidential between the school, the student and the family. Each student will be randomly tested at least once per school year.

“If a student tests positive, our first response will be to work with the families and the student to try to avoid these habits in the future,” Pendergest said. “Our objective is not to catch students doing drugs. Our objective is to help students not do drugs.”

School officials pointed out that one desirable consequence of the policy would be to help students avoid the peer pressure regarding drugs, allowing them to say, “I can’t do that – my school tests.”

Testing for drug use is not the only means that Badin High School will utilize in order to better support students as they combat pressure to use any drugs. The administration and staff of Badin has made student wellness the focus of the 2019-20 school year and beyond.

Recently, Badin hosted Mr. Phil O’Hara of Steered Straight to speak to students and parents about the dangers of drug use, particularly vaping. Tommy Lewis, a nationally renowned consultant from Cincinnati, has been working with the BHS staff in multiple areas to strengthen relationships with each other and the students at Badin.

“Each of these steps has been thought out and implemented with one goal in mind,” Pendergest said. “We want to ensure that each student who enters Badin High School is supported in every facet of his or her development.”

Badin officials met with faculty and staff on Monday, with students today and will have upcoming parent meetings. A letter has been sent to all Badin parents explaining the new policy. Representatives of the testing company, Great Lakes Biomedical, will be in to further discuss the initiative.

Pendergest pointed out that the sanctions for students having drugs or alcohol on school property or at school-sponsored events will remain as they are currently listed in the Student Handbook.

“Our mission at Badin is to inspire young men and women to achieve their personal best, live their faith and lead the future,” he said. “We will never stop seeking ways to keep our students safe and help them to develop into the person God intends them to be. We believe this testing initiative is an important step in helping them make the right choices for a positive future.”

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