All Fr. Tolton Students to be Subject to Drug Tests

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COLUMBIA - Fr. Tolton Catholic High School said Wednesday all students will be subject to drug testing for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Principal Kristie Wolfe said the school's executive committee, advisory council and board of directors decided to implement the test. Wolfe said the governing body began planning to drug test students before the school opened in 2011. The test will screen students for drugs such as opiates, marijuana and commonly-abused prescription drugs.

"It's an important part of a broad approach to help kids lead a healthy lifestyle," said Wolfe. "It's not meant to penalize kids or stop a problem that we see. It's to maintain a safe and healthy environment," Wolfe added.

Wolfe said a third party will conduct the screenings, much like those that occur in work places. The company will receive a list of student's identification numbers and select numbers at random. Those selected will be required to undergo a drug test.

Wolfe added that a first offense will cause a student to attend counseling, and will also require a follow-up drug test to ensure rehabilitation. A second offense would likely result in expulsion.

Helias High School, Harrisburg and Boonville have or will have similar drug testing policies.

Wolfe said all students who attend Fr. Tolton Catholic High School next year must consent to the drug test and that there will not be an option to opt out of the screening.