BELVIDERE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A middle school in New Jersey is stepping up its fight against drugs. Starting in September, a new testing program will kick off.
When kids come back to class at Oxford Street School in Belvidere this fall, sixth, seventh and eighth graders may face drug testing in school.
“We’ll probably have the testing every couple of months. It’ll be random and we will test for four or five different types of drugs,” Principal Sandra Szabocsik told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.
The program is voluntary. So it’s up to parents whether to sign their kids up and the students will know if they’ve been enrolled.
All of the testing will be done in the school nurse’s office. If the student tests positive for drugs there would be no punishment, no suspension and police would not be notified. Instead, the parents would be called and the student would get counseling.
Robert Vines has two daughters in the school.
“The program is great because that would give you more chance to get more involved in your children’s life, through the school system without law enforcement coming into it,” Vines said.
Some parents in the area said its program that should go nationwide.
“With the drug problems that are existing all over in every community I think every student in my opinion should be tested,” Tony Beasley said.
Students from the school have mixed reviews.
“I think it’s getting into our business a little bit in school. I think our parents should deal with it. That’s my opinion,” seventh grader Melody Ciraky said.
“I think it’s a good idea. Kids who do that shouldn’t do that at this age,” sixth grader Megan Bentley added.
Principal Szabocsik said students can also use the testing as a way to deal with peer pressure when it comes to drugs.
“It’s a tool they can use to say no, at my school I have random drug testing, I don’t want to come up positive,” Szabocsik said.
She’s hoping it’s a lesson that will keep her students off drugs for a lifetime.
Students who test positive will be required to attend an early intervention program and the parents would be responsible to pay for the treatment program.
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