Private schools in Northeast Ohio will begin drug testing their students. The private schools, which include St. Edwards High School, St. Ignatius High School, and Gilmour Academy, are kicking off their mandatory drug testing program for ALL students beginning in the fall of 2014. The schools will be testing for drugs as a proactive measure in fighting drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

Unlike public schools, private schools are funded by tuition paid by each student’s family. If a family doesn’t like the policy of mandatory drug testing, they can remove their child from the school. However, most parents are pleased with the measures the schools are taking to combat drug abuse. According to this article, St. Ignatius administrators sent home a letter which read, “We already have educational programs, counseling and intervention programs in place but, given the pressures our students face, now is the time to take an even more aggressive stance against this threat”.

K.C. McKenna, vice president of admissions and marketing at St. Edwards, said that feedback from students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The schools will be handling the discipline of students who test positive on a case-by-case basis. They will also take into account the level of addiction and student cooperation.

However, some parents were concerned about what they see as an invasion of privacy. One parent called the school to ask if her son could opt out of testing. The school said no, drug testing was mandatory for all students.

In the past, the Supreme Court ruled that it was acceptable for public schools to randomly drug tests student athletes and students who participate in school-related extracurricular activities. If a student tested positive, then he or she was barred from the activity.  Mandatory drug testing of all students in a public school without probable cause has never been allowed.