Episcopal Rolls Out New (Random) Drug Testing


JP Coll '22, Staff Writer

Episcopal recently announced a joint movement with Bolles and Bishop Kenny to begin randomly drug testing high school students at each of their schools. A computer will randomly select a student ID number, and then a saliva swab will be used to test for 15 different drugs.

Studies have shown that the later that a person is exposed to these substances, the less likely he/she will become addicted. 

The schools hope this will give students an excuse to avoid the peer pressure that is often presented to them. 

If someone tests positive for drugs, the school will notify the parents that there is an issue and that they should seek counseling. There will be no disciplinary action. If they test positive again, the school will mandate counseling and will request a certificate that they went to counseling. After the third positive test, the student may be separated from the school, depending on the circumstances. Episcopal, Bolles and Bishop Kenny are ultimately hoping to keep their students healthy with their new system.

I asked two anonymous students their thoughts on the schools’ decision to begin drug-testing next year, and these were their responses.

One student shared, “It doesn’t affect me very much, so I don’t care too much.”

Another stated, “If someone really struggles with addiction and needs help but because it is random they don’t get called in, then the school could arguably be responsible if they do not get the help they need. And, someone who had a one-time experience could deal with the consequences, instead of people who need help but aren’t being selected.”

The school does not begin testing until next September, so they will be able to work on it and fix the worries that may be going around the school after the recent announcement.

Image courtesy of Episcopal School of Jacksonville.