Tri-Creek School Board ponders random drug testing of students

2012-03-19T11:00:00Z 2012-03-19T12:55:59Z Tri-Creek School Board ponders random drug testing of studentsBy Melanie Csepiga Times Correspondent
March 19, 2012 11:00 am  • 

LOWELL | The Tri-Creek School Corp. board is considering following the lead of other school districts by randomly testing high school students for drugs.

At the board's request, Director of Operations Nathan Kleefisch researched, then presented information last week on random drug testing.

Superintendent Debra Howe said she believes Tri-Creek and School Town of Highland are the only local school systems that don't conduct random drug testing.

Tri-Creek could decide to test middle school students as well.

Kleefisch said Midwest Toxicology Services Inc., of Lebanon, currently conducts drug tests on Tri-Creek school bus drivers.

Susie Fields, of Midwest Toxicology Services, said her company could do on-site collections with a mobile unit, ensure proper chain of custody and transport the specimens to the laboratory.

Given 15 to 19 collections per visit, the cost would be $20 for each collection. If 20 or more specimens were collected in a visit, the cost would decrease to $15 each.

The lab fee would be additional. Its current cost is $16 per student.

The drug profile would cover amphetamines and methamphetamines; barbiturates; benzodiazepines; cocaine, opiates and methadone; phencyclidine, also known as PCP; marijuana; alcohol; and cotinine, a nicotine metabolite.

Cannabinoids and creatinine ratio and creatinine levels on diluted specimens also would be included.

Kleefisch stressed the school district is just gathering information on the topic, and no decisions have been made.

School board members made no comment.

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