An anonymous survey of Ridge High School seniors revealed that 70% admitted drinking alcohol and 28% admitted using marijuana within the past month, according to a feature on Basking Ridge Patch. This has led the Board of Education to bring back the idea of random drug testing among high school students.

Two years ago, a similar proposal has been scrapped by the school board. What is giving advocates hope that this new proposal will be approved? Well, there is a huge difference between the last proposal and the recent one — involvement in the latter is voluntary. Parents have the option to include (or not to) their children in the pool from which students will be chosen in random for drug testing. The urine drug test will be conducted in the office of the school nurse.

Chad Gillikin, student assistance counselor, added that “those who sign up for parking permits or who sign up for school activities would be included unless their parents opt out.” Schools Superintendent Valerie Goger said the proposal will be discussed by the board’s policy committee sometime in June.

While school officials insist that the random drug testing program is aimed at helping students, rather than punishing them, the proposed policy indicates that a student could be suspended from an activity or lose parking privileges if a drug test returns positive.

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