The first test that high-schoolers at First Academy-Leesburg must pass this year will be administered with the snip of scissors.
In coming weeks, 154 students will file into the school clinic to submit hair samples that, though no larger than a pencil tip, will tell the story of the past 90 days. A private lab will analyze the swatches for traces of marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP and amphetamines. Students who come up positive will deal with consequences ranging up to dismissal.
“It’s a rough time in a child’s life, and sometimes kids make a decision at the spur of the moment that can then affect the rest of their life,” First Academy Administrator Gregory Frescoln said.
The new policy at the Christian school coincides with a spike in regional heroin use, along with a call for the sweeping expansion of drug testing at public schools. Time-share mogul David Siegel, whose teenage daughter died in June from a prescription-drug overdose, last week called for random screenings in middle school, high school and universities during the launch of a task force commissioned to curb what Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs called a heroin epidemic.
In drug testing the general student population, the Leesburg academy is following in the footsteps of other private institutions such as First Academy in Orlando and Lake Highland Preparatory School.
But mirroring these programs at public schools would likely run afoul of federal law. Read More at Orlando Sentinel