Pubdate: Tue, 17 Feb 2004
Source: Northern Star (IL Edu)
Copyright: 2004 Northern Star
Author: Jessica Kalin
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)


DeKalb County Schools Won't Require Mandatory Screenings

High schools across the nation are requiring mandatory drug tests because 
of the increase in drug use, but DeKalb County schools do not plan to 

Some Chicago area schools have implemented mandatory drug testing for 
students involved in extracurricular activities, but for DeKalb, the drug 
problem is not prevalent enough to warrant random drug testing, said Larry 
Stinson, principal of DeKalb High School, 1515 S. Fourth St.

"There would have to be a clear and present [drug] problem," Stinson added.

Of high school seniors nationwide, 21.2 percent smoked marijuana in the 
previous 30 days during 2003, the National Institute on Drug Abuse 
reported. The institute reported 2.1 percent of seniors used cocaine in the 
previous month, and 24.1 percent of seniors had used some illicit drug in 
the previous 30 days.

High schools such DeKalb; Sycamore on Spartan Trail in Sycamore; 
Hinckley-Big Rock, 700 E. Lincoln Highway, Hinckley; and Genoa-Kingston, 
980 Park Ave., Genoa, have strict policies regarding drug use, including 
tobacco and alcohol, school officials said. Policies provide stiff 
punishments for students found with drugs in their lockers, cars or backpacks.

Students can be suspended or expelled if such drugs are found, said Larry 
Peppers, athletic director of Hinckley-Big Rock High School.

Random searches of lockers using dogs have been implemented at all of these 

"Students are suspended and face an expulsion hearing if drugs are found," 
said Don Billington, Genoa-Kingston High School principal.

Athletes must sign a contract stating they will abstain from using any 
drugs and abide by training rules. If the athletes violate the contract, 
they will miss games and practices.

In DeKalb, student athletes must seek drug counseling after the first offense.

Stinson said drug testing can get expensive. He would rather put the money 
into prevention plans, he said.

"We search lockers, not the kids. We are just trying to deter them," he said.

The Ben Gordon Center, 12 Health Services Drive, screens for opiates, 
cannabis, alcohol and barbiturates through urinalysis. Each test costs $50. 
The center can travel to schools to conduct the tests, but has not yet been 
asked by DeKalb County high schools to do so.
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