Thursday, June 23, 2016

Catholic High School in Appleton first in diocese to start mandatory drug testing for all of its students

APPLETON - Xavier High School will start mandatory drug testing for all of its students in the fall.

The practice is not the result of high drug usage among Xavier students but rather a focus on student health, said Principal Mike Mauthe.

"The impetus for the program is not because Xavier has some sort of huge problem," he said. "I think our numbers on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey over the years have indicated, compared to some of our neighboring schools, our rates of drug use are significantly lower, but anybody who opens up The Post-Crescent and reads about heroin deaths and the increased use of all kinds of drugs here in the Valley knows that any sort of drug usage rate is a problem.
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Xavier isn't the first school in the Fox Cities to do random drug testing of students, but it would be the first private high school here and the first in the Diocese of Green Bay.
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Because it's a private school, Xavier can mandate drug tests for everyone because students pay to attend the school.

Public school students, meanwhile, can only be screened if they participate in activities outside of the regular curriculum. The U.S. Supreme Court found public school drug testing of student-athletes and students who participate in extracurricular activities constitutional in 1995 and 2002, respectively.

For the record, I think this is a terrible misguided idea.  The salutatorian of my high school was a major stoner and said person went on to graduate from a major university(with honors) and is now a successful businessperson.  It's not clear what punishment is issued for violations, but this kind of invasion could lead offenders down a path of destruction whereas sometimes these kids learn from any potential mistakes without the need for some institutional intervention.  Behavior is the problem that should be targeted, like missing school, bad grades, disruptions, violence, etc.

Do Milwaukee Catholic schools do something like this?

Where's the "Weed 'nuns'" when you need them... (kidding!) 

Update: If you are in favor of mandatory drug testing for student, are you also in favor of mandatory STD testing of all students?   Or do we only deal in socially unacceptable problems? 

9 comments:

  1. It's a bad idea until a stoner kills your daughter DUI

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    Replies
    1. DUI is already illegal. Car breathalyzers would help for that though, not school drug testing.

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    2. Thanks for posting this. My six first cousins and some of their children graduated from Xavier High School. I am wondering if would be done at my alma mater Aquinas High School in La Crosse. Richard Dungar, La Crosse, Wisconsin

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    3. And call me libertarian I guess, but I'm not a big believer in unlimited search (and seizure), by bureaucrats whether public or private.

      If the student has behavioral problems(probable cause), another story.

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  2. I have multiple children at the school in question, and I am disgusted with this decision. This is intrusive and invasive, and not what I would expect from a Catholic school. We were told there will be a meeting about this for the parents in August. I want to know who the so-called private donor is.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info anon. I agree, I would completely object if it were my children. This just seems strange all around, an anonymous donor implementing a pretty harsh invasion of privacy for no apparent reason. And because it is a private school, parent have less rights (in contrast to Catholic teaching that parents are primary educators) than they do in a public school.

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  3. In a private school, the parents can tell the administration to change, or else they will withdraw. The policy will look very silly without any students to test.
    The parents also could do a mass refusal to consent to the policy. That also could make the school change its mind.

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  4. Still having trouble wrapping my brain around your resistance to this.

    The news item is clear: we're talking heroin, not maryjane. "H" is a whole 'nother world, as you know. Waukesha County, an area with similar demographics to Outagamie, is having serious problems with kids using heroin. In fact, having re-read the press release, I am even more in favor of that school's decision, not b/c of possible DUI (rare for h-addicts) but because the stuff is becoming a leading cause of death of youth over here.

    Now then: are they also planning on screening for maryjane?

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    Replies
    1. I also wouldn't send my kids to a school that has mandatory STD testing. I would send my kids to a school to be educated however.

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