S-D Schools Parents Handed Drug Tests For Second Year
By Mike Perleberg
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – After making national headlines last year, free drug testing kits are once again being given to parents by a local parent teacher organization.
In August of 2013, the PTO at Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School began distributing free drug tests provided by Bright Christian Church and Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard’s “Protect Your Family” program. The distribution effort saw about 300 kits given away, said PTO president Rollie Hollowell. Another 200 kits were given by the prosecutor’s office to the schools to have on hand.
“Over all I think it was very positive, it takes all the pressure off the kids and puts it on the parents,” Hollowell tells Eagle 99.3.
Hollowell says they will once again give parents free drug testing kits to use on their children at Sunman-Dearborn Middle School during an open house Tuesday evening from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Kits were also given out during the open house at Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School on Monday evening.
As was the case last year, the kits are funded by a grant from Dearborn County Citizens Against Substance Abuse.
According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey conducted by the University of Michigan in 2013, seven percent of 8th graders nationwide reported using marijuana in the previous month. About five percent said they had ever used an inhalant such as cocaine. About 3.5 percent of 8th graders reported getting drunk in the past month.
The idea of testing kids for drug use has drawn criticism from some parents, but Hollowell believes that parents can never be too safe when it comes to drugs.
“It starts out as a sibling doing it and the younger one thinks it is cool to do, so they try it and it goes downhill from there,” she said. “The PTO can give out the information and kits but it fall back onto the parents if they want to do it or not. It has nothing to with trusting your kids or not. It is one less thing that the child has to worry about.”
“I trust my kids but they will be tested when coming home from a party,” said Hollowell.
You can learn more about the “Protect Your Family” program on Facebook.
A number of southeast Indiana school districts including Lawrenceburg, South Dearborn, Rising Sun-Ohio County, and South Ripley have implemented random drug testing programs in recent years.