SV touts success of drug testing program
June 11, 2014
JACKSON TWP — The Seneca Valley School Board at a meeting Monday night touted the success of its drug testing program for students, citing statistics that show a decrease in the number of students who tested positive for a variety of substances. Assistant Superintendent Matt McKinley said the program, which has been in place for more than 12 years at the school, is a “national model” for other districts looking to implement similar programs. He cited data that showed that 4,231 tests were conducted between July 2013 and May, and only 17 tests came back positive. McKinley said that comes out to only 0.4 percent of tests coming back positive. In comparison, the annual average across the nation is about 2 percent, he said. “The numbers speak for themselves,” McKinley said. Furthermore, the assistant superintendent said that only 4 percent of those students who tested positive again tested positive on follow-up exams, a number that is much lower than the national average of 18 percent. According to school officials, 12 of the 17 students who failed tested positive for marijuana, while two tested positive for alcohol and two tested positive for amphetamines. One student tested positive for both marijuana and methamphetamine. The drug testing only concerns students in grades 7 to 12 and is used for students in athletics, any extra-curricular activity or for students who drive to school. District officials also can test any student for “reasonable suspicion” that they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.