Bishop Kelley First OK School To Test Students' Hair To Detect Alcohol Use

Thursday, September 8th 2016, 9:10 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa high school became the first in Oklahoma to test students' hair for alcohol use. The test can tell if a student drank alcohol in the last 90 days.

School leaders at Bishop Kelley say it's all about keeping students safe and giving them the confidence to say no.

Drug dogs are a common sight at Bishop Kelley High School; but now, the school is cracking down even more - testing students’ hair for alcohol use.

Father Brian O'Brien said, "Drugs and alcohol are out there and a temptation to our students. For us, the drug testing was a chance to help students make better choices, just keeping them safe in every way we can."

Bishop Kelley started testing students’ hair for drugs eight years ago. O'Brien said he's seen a significant decrease in drug use, so now alcohol will be tested the same way.

"To bring down the incidences of drinking, binge drinking," he said.

Every student will be tested for drugs once per school year, and about 25 percent will be randomly selected for alcohol testing but they won't know which test they're in for.

It detects alcohol use within the last 90 days and will even show if the student has had one or two drinks, or much more.

Student Tushar Patel said most students aren't worried about failing. 

"We are just having fun without that kind of stuff at our school," he said.

Parent Kathryn Lyons feels the school is breaking down barriers, showing kids there's another way to be cool besides drinking and partying.

"At Bishop Kelley, you can become popular because you are a priest or spiritual person or just a great, great kid," Lyons said.

If a student does fail, their parents will be contacted and the student will be given a second chance, but if they fail again, they risk getting kicked out.