Since starting drug testing this fall, Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando has conducted nearly 1,700 tests and found nine violations, said school President Warren Hudson.
“We feel we have changed student behavior,” Hudson said. The drug tests, he said, have “empowered students who want to avoid drugs with a perfect excuse.”
The nine violations do not include students whose screens turned up prescription drugs that could be matched with valid prescriptions.
The school started testing its about 1,200 students in grades 7 to 12 this fall in concert with a drug education program. In addition to a test of all seventh- to 12th-graders at the beginning of the year, students have been randomly chosen six times for tests during the year. The school takes hair samples that give a 90-day history of drug use for a slate of about 18 illegal drugs.
The nine positive tests were all for marijuana, Hudson said. Some of those students got clean, while others were expelled, he said, declining to provide a more specific breakdown.