Home > Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Drug Testing, Drug-Free Workplace > School Drug Testing: Necessary For Teachers?

School Drug Testing: Necessary For Teachers?

You may have heard of academic drug and alcohol testing for students and athletes — but did you know that some school districts are extending their drug testing programs to include teachers?

After a teacher in Oklahoma made headlines for appearing intoxicated and pantsless during her first day on the job, many concerned parents expressed dismay that more was not done to screen applicants for troubling behaviors. Alcohol and drug testing for teachers and school staff can address these liabilities.

Here are the details on nationwide academic drug testing programs that include staff members — and what a similar program could do if implemented in Worcester.

Alcohol & Drug Testing For Teachers

Reasonable Suspicion Testing: Is it Enough?

Schools in Monroe County, Tennessee have an employee drug testing program in place, but they only conduct reasonable suspicion drug testing. When an elementary school teacher was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in September, parents wondered if this was enough.

The teacher in question had actually been placed on unpaid leave two days before her arrest due to missing 12 days of the school year, underscoring the fact that drug users have higher rates of abesenteeism and unproductivity than their peers. But if she hadn’t been arrested during a traffic stop, it’s questionable whether her drug use would have been discovered, as the school district does not have a random drug testing program in place.

Community members feel that random drug testing is necessary to ensure that teachers are not under the influence of any substances when caring for kids.

Drug Testing for Teachers in the Nation’s Capital

In 2004, the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Amendment Act of 2004 (CYSHA) was passed, mandating that District of Columbia schools enforce drug testing for all employees in “safety-sensitive positions,” defined as anyone with significant contact with students. In July 2013, the Inspector General reported that D.C. public schools were not complying with the law — but now they’re heeding the warning and implementing a teacher drug testing program as needed.

The D.C. policy includes reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing, follow-up testing after any drug or alcohol treatment programs, post-accident drug and alcohol testing, and random drug testing.

Eastern Massachusetts Schools Considering Employee Drug Testing

School officials in Brockton, MA are also considering implementing an employee drug testing program that would include teachers. This comes after two incidences involving school district staff. These include a cafeteria worker’s arrest for participation in a drug ring and an elementary school teaching assistant’s arrest after she was found with drugs on school premises. Random, pre-employment, and reasonable suspicion drug testing are all being considered. Some say these steps are necessary given Massachusetts’ widespread heroin epidemic.

Keep Your School Safe With Workplace Drug Testing

School administrators in Worcester and the surrounding areas can partner with ARCpoint Labs of Worcester to create and carry out a workplace drug testing program that safeguards students against potential substance abuse among the staff.

For more on pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and random drug or alcohol testing with ARCpoint Labs of Worcester, contact us today at (774) 314-9551.

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