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The Miami Hearld
Posted on Sun, Mar. 07, 2004
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Schools try new, quickie drug test Students in Palm Beach County suspected of using drugs are now subject to new drug testing that's done with a swab and an aerosol spray.
Administrators at all 23 county high schools are being trained to use the test whenever they have a ''reasonable suspicion'' that a student is using illegal drugs, said schools Police Chief Jim Kelly.The school district is one of 22 across the country, and the only one in Florida, taking part in a free trial program that puts the drug detection kits in schools.
It's supported by a $650,000 grant from the federal government's National Institute of Justice, Kelly said.To use the kits, administrators swab a small piece of chemically treated paper over students' hands or belongings and douse it with a spray.Within seconds, the paper changes colors to indicate the possible presence of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
District and school officials said they won't use the kits for any other reason than to alert parents to potential drug problems with their children.A positive result won't instigate a search, Kelly said.
All Boca Raton high schools and Atlantic High School in Delray Beach have the kits, and they're on their way to every district high school by the end of the year.
But the ACLU says the test is indiscriminate and violates students' privacy.''You really can't tell by looking at a student if he or she is on drugs,'' said local chairwoman Ruth Gottlieb. ``It's a judgment call.''
Ha, my high school (private) randomly HAIR tested every student at least one or two times over the course of the year. These tests went back at least 90 days. They even added a $60 fee to our tuition to pay for the tests. Bunch of fuckers. Many other private high schools in my area also began doing this after my school did. I'm so glad I'm out of there.