Drug Prevention / Intervention Program
Our commitment to our students is unprecedented. All adolescent students everywhere, including each of our Lancers, are confronted with ongoing societal temptations to start down the dangerous road of drug use. At La Salle, we mutually believe in setting the preeminent standards for our Lancers and school. And as one more example of that determination, we take a bold new step with the much-anticipated official launch of our drug prevention and intervention program. La Salle High School is committed to a drug-free environment for our Lancers, to the prevention of the use of drugs, and to immediate intervention for any student who has begun to use drugs.
- Why does La Salle have a drug prevention/intervention program?
- Does La Salle have a drug problem?
- How long has La Salle had this program?
- What were the results?
- Opponents may say this program is an invasion of privacy.
- Isn’t this the parent’s job?
- How will you maintain confidentiality?
- How will random selection be done?
- What will be tested?
- Will the test include alcohol?
- Can a student get a false positive from the test?
- What if a student refuses to take the test?
- What if a student or parent admits to drug use and requests treatment?
- Will the test detect prescription medications?
- What if a parent desires more frequent testing?
- What if someone says a student is involved in drugs?
- Will you use social media or other public social networking posts as a means to determine if a student needs a drug test?
- Will you use other criteria to make someone take a drug test?
- Will random sweeps by police drug dogs continue to occur?
- What do you expect from the parents?
We care about our students! A few of many reasons:
- We desire to provide for the spiritual and healthy well-being of our students and to prepare them responsibly for successful, faithful lives as Catholic adults.
- Our students will work in a world where an ever-growing number of employers have drug testing programs. Our students’ ability to pursue meaningful careers is predicated on living drug-free lives.
- Using drugs as an adolescent is extremely harmful and detrimental to an individual’s growth and development. The Science and Management of Addictions states: “More than any other age group adolescents are at risk for substance addiction, and more than any other age group they risk permanent intellectual and emotional damage due to the effects of drugs.”
- We aim to prevent our students from starting to use drugs by giving them a clear and obvious reason to say “no” at all times. And, should a student make a mistake, we wish to ensure that he is directed to immediate intervention to help him get free and remain free of drugs.
We know society has a drug problem, and our young men, like students at all private and public schools, are subject to those societal challenges. All of us are also aware of the peer pressures of society on teens and their exposure to drugs outside of school. La Salle High School incorporates all available best practices and resources in our ongoing effort to provide our students a drug-free learning environment.
In the first round of the 2014-2015 mandatory drug testing program for all students, fifty-nine hundredths of one percent (approximately 1/2 of 1%) of our Lancers tested positive. We are told by Psychemedics and other schools which do drug testing programs that this result is significantly better than what other schools typically see. Although the program tests for several drug classes, all of our positive results were due to the use of marijuana.
Our mission is to provide our students every possible means to prepare them to lead successful lives as responsible, faith-driven adults. Drug use is not a responsible behavior for anyone, let alone our students and all teenagers, in general. As a private high school, parents choose to send their sons to La Salle.
Each student’s hair sample and corresponding results will be accessible only by the school nurse. The testing lab, Psychemedics, will not know the student’s name. In addition to the student, his parents, and the school nurse, the only other person inside La Salle who will know the results is a faculty/staff mentor chosen by the student.
La Salle wants students who are using drugs to come forth and request the school to work with them to help stop this behavior. If he comes forth at least the day prior to when he is scheduled for regular testing, La Salle will require the student to be tested and seek intervention counseling, based on the results. If positive, the student will be tested again in approximately 100 days at the parent’s cost, and if that test result is positive, that will be a strike. Note: during the 100-day intervention time frame, the student is still subject to being drawn to participate in the random routine testing program, and if he tests positive at that time, it will count as a strike.
Prescription drug abuse is something the test will be able to detect. Students will be asked to provide documentation should they be taking prescription medications under a doctor’s care. That is why it is important that students and parents pay close attention and provide clear documentation when students are prescribed medications by their doctor.
If someone believes that a student is involved in drugs, that information should be shared to the assistant principal who may work with other professionals as a collaborative team to investigate the accusation. The assistant principal may require a student to be tested who is reasonably suspected of drug involvement. Cost of this test will be covered by the school if the results are negative and by the parents if the results are positive. If the results of this test are positive, the student will be accessed a strike, will be required to obtain intervention counseling, and will be retested in approximately 100 days. If the results of this test are negative, the student remains in the pool of students who are being chosen randomly for testing.
The La Salle High School Handbook has a clear social media policy which includes references to drug use and/or behaviors. A student’s failure to abide by these standards may mean testing and/or other disciplinary consequences. As mentioned in the previous question, if a posting gives suspicion that a student is engaged in drug use, the assistant principal may require the student to take a drug test - the timing of which is independent of the normal random drug-testing program.
Parents need to remain strong in teaching and enforcing proper behaviors to their sons as they mature from teenagers into adults. Those efforts must include being vigilant and not ignoring any warning signs. We also expect open lines of communications to exist between parents and school to ensure our important partnership.