A private school in Illinois will begin randomly testing students for alcohol use this year, raising the issue of the constitutionality of drug and alcohol testing in schools once again.
A private high school in Illinois
is raising the stakes on testing. However, the testing in question is not standardized examinations or even pop quizzes in the classroom. This school is adding testing for alcohol consumption to their current tests that randomly screen students for drug use.
Hair Test Detects Alcohol Consumption
The Huffington Post
reports that St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights
, Illinois, will unveil their random alcohol testing at the start of the new school year. The private Catholic high school has been testing students for drug use
for a number of years, and now will use a similar test to check up on students’ alcohol consumption. The alcohol test is a new addition and the high school will be one of the first in the country to try out this new testing method.
“We’re adding this test because we care about our kids and we want them to be the best God created them to be,” St. Viator President Corey Brost was quoted as saying at the Huffington Post.
The new test will use hair samples, about the width of pencil lead, to reveal any alcohol use by the student. The test provides information about students who have had two to three drinks a week, over a period of the three months prior to the test. Hair samples have been used by the school in the past to test students for drug use, but this will be the first time the test is used to detect alcohol use.
Drug Testing Common Occurrence
The Chicago Tribune
reports that St. Viator High School has been using hair samples to test students for drug use since 2007. All students are tested at the beginning of the year. Throughout the year, students are tested again in a random cycle selected by a computer according to student identification numbers. Students are notified in the morning about their test when they arrive at school. At lunchtime, students report to a school official, who snips about 60 strands of hair for the test.