No random drug testing in WHHS

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:53

    New Jersey high school students may be in for some changes when they go back to school, due to new drug-testing legislation signed by acting Gov. Richard J. Codey. The new law helps schools that want to adopt drug-testing programs for students involved in school sports, extracurricular activities or those who want parking permits. The legislation sets guidelines for random testing, including student selection, the details of testing and appropriate punishment for those who fail or refuse the test. It also allows schools to test for steroid use. West Milford has long had a policy of testing students who appear or are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but does not do any random testing. Superintendent Glenn Kamp said there are no immediate plans to implement random testing in the district, but they will watch what happens in the districts that have such a program. "If we're going to have random drug tests, then I think it should be for everyone rather than just certain groups, such as athletes." The current program in West Milford calls for teachers and/or school officials to report any child suspected of being under the influence. The police are immediately involved and the student must be tested immediately. The district will pay for the test unless the parents choose to go to their private physician. If the test comes out positive, the student has to participate in a program run by Substance Abuse Coordinator Eric Renfors before he or she will be allowed back into school. Kamp says about 60 percent of the students in West Milford who get tested are positive. Frank Belluscio, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association, which supported the legislation, said the organization knows of 12 districts in the state that already have random drug-testing programs in place. Some programs only test athletes; others extend to all extracurricular activities or to students who want parking permits.