North Olmsted to implement random drug testing this fall

North Olmsted to implement random drug testing this fall

NORTH OLMSTED, OH (WOIO) - North Olmsted High School is taking major steps to keep students off drugs, by conducting random drug tests starting this fall.

The drug test will be mandatory for athletes, students involved in extra-curricular activities, even students parking on campus.

We spoke to recent graduates whose opinions might surprise you.

Jake Seighman just graduated from North Olmsted High, where he ran track and played football. When it comes to random drug testing for students, he's all for it.

"It's just going to, hopefully, make the schools a better place, if we get the athletes who are bad influences on others out of there. Just makes it a cleaner place for everybody," Seighman said.

The school board says the new drug testing policy is intended to help, not punish students. Officials say no specific incident sparked the change, but drugs are becoming an issue. They say parents were involved in the process.

"I think it's a good idea with the way teens are these days. I think it's helpful and keeps all the children safe, the campus safe," said parent Stephanie Cave.

Seighman's teammate, Mehdi Mustafa, is counting down the days until college.

"I think it's a pretty good idea knowing that drug abuse is getting big nowadays, especially with teenagers, a lot of them dying," he said.

If students fail their first drug test, they will have a meeting with their parents and the principal. They will then be recommended to take a drug intervention program and be required to take more drug tests in the future.

If athletes fail a second drug test, they will miss 20 percent of the scheduled games in the season. If they fail a third test, they will miss half of the games. A fourth failed test will ban athletes from participating in sports during the rest of their time at the high school.

"The first time, it's like, alright, get in shape, give it up. The second time, you're suspended for two or three games, not bad, still have the rest of the season. But the third and the fourth time, it's just crossing the border and you should be done from there," Mustafa said.

For students involved in extra-curricular activities, violations will result in similar suspension of activities.

For student parking permit holders, the first failed drug test will lead to an option of completing a five-week counseling program or having the parking permit suspended for 10 percent of the school year. A third failed test will ban students from parking at the high school for the remainder of their high school career.

On social media, some parents told 19 Action News they think drug testing students who park at the high school is taking it too far. 

Students can appeal the violation in front of a review panel.

School officials say they hope the policy will help students fight peer pressure and stay drug free.

"If you want to have a drug-free campus, you need to treat everyone equally. And I think it's a good thing," said Cave.

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