District considers drug testing program

District+considers+drug+testing+program

Daniel Brnjic

By DANIEL BRNJIC (’17)

Our high school has had a reputation for drug use for a long time. Currently administrative officials at the district office are putting a plan in the works for the 2016-2017 school year that would involve students participating in drug testing. Talks have varied from all students being eligible for testing to the tests being optional. The optional drug testing is considered a farce, by all students for obvious reasons. The likely plan will involve students being selected at random to participate in the tests.

It is no secret that Granville has a drug issue a recent poll by school officials stated that almost one third of seniors have tried Marijuana. This statistic is considered by most to be a low estimate of the actual drug use at Granville. Granville is one of the few remaining schools in Licking County that has not implemented drug testing.

“We need to crack down on this for the safety of our students,” said school nurse Anne Varrasso. “Drug are unhealthy and illegal. Studies have shown that they cause brain damage and do lead to hard drugs like heroin.”

The school district overwhelmingly supports the testing program. The resistance has come mainly from parents who do not want their children tested.

There is a common feeling among the students that the administration officials do not understand the scope of students using drugs at Granville. They believe that a “shock” will occur when they begin testing and end the program because of the number of students testing positive.

“Here at Granville, it is not your typical high school, “said junior Kate Duncan. “ I think when the administration finds that a number of students with a 4.0 GPA tests positive for dope they will scrub the program. They will not want to put a blemish on these kids’ records,”

Most students share an opinion that the district will only go so far with testing. The general consensus among students is that Granville has a reputation to protect and the tests will not become a long term program.

The administration at Granville do not share this opinion, but then again they may not understand the scope of drug use at Granville.

“I think only the student- athletes will be tested,” said Kate Duncan. “The school has a reputation to protect, so they will narrow the scope of testing.”

Some students want this stereotype at Granville to end, and want a clean drug-free school.

“If they get caught they should be severely punished,” said junior Alex Eckels who is an athlete. “Those who do drugs are just stupid. This needs to end before people actually get hurt,”

At the end of day the final decision will be made by school administrators and only time will tell the effectiveness of the drug testing program.

“We care about the safety of our students,” said Varrasso. “We do not care about reputations if that involves putting our students at jeopardy.”

The school district will make the final call this summer. They should announce a plan by August well before the start of the new school year.