Drug Tests Results In On Bishop Kelley Students

Thursday, February 12th 2009, 4:17 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa's Bishop Kelley High School became the first school in the state last year to drug-test all of its students.  Every student was required to submit a hair sample for testing in the fall.  The school is now ready to announce its results.

02/04/2008  Related Story:  High School To Enforce Mandatory Drug Testing

Bishop Kelley is able to drug test everyone because it is a private school.  During its first round of testing, it was surprised to find that almost all the kids here are drug-free.

"Certainly we had suspected certain levels of use outside of school, inside of school, and we had growing concerns," said Bishop Kelley Principal Alan Weyland.

Bishop Kelley Principal Alan Weyland says those concerns stemmed from an anonymous student survey about drug use.  The survey showed that at least some of the student body was using.

"In our society today no high school is immune in this country, and we really wanted to give our young people an opportunity to make better choices," said Bishop Kelley Principal Alan Weyland.

Bishop Kelley decided that the solution was to drug-test every single student.  Some wonder if the policy would violate the privacy of students.

"Well, given the fact that when you come into a private school, you give up many of your constitutional rights because you're volunteering to be here," said Bishop Kelley Principal Alan Weyland.     

Over the course of the fall, 837 students submitted hair samples that were tested for marijuana, opiates, ecstasy and PCP.  The results came back recently, and 99% of the kids were clean. 

Some students say the testing has proven to be an effective deterrent.

"I think it does encourage a lot of kids to not take drugs, and discourages the use, and getting into drugs," said Bishop Kelley Junior Kyle Kraft.

Administrators say that is what the testing is all about.  They feel it provides students with the motivation they need not to get involved with drugs.

"As we told our young people, it was never meant to catch them. It was always meant as an opportunity to prevent, to give them an opportunity to quit," said Bishop Kelley Principal Alan Weyland.

There are no consequences when a student tests positive the first time.  He or she will be offered drug counseling.  But, if that student tests positive a second time, he will be kicked out of Bishop Kelley.