FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||Wednesday, June 4, 2008|
ONDCP PUBLIC AFFAIRS
(202) 395-5744 / (202) 395-6618
$5.8 MILLION IN NEW DRUG PREVENTION GRANTS TO AID 49 SCHOOLS IN 20 STATES
Urban School Districts In Detroit, Denver, & Las Vegas Among Those Moving To Random Student Drug Testing
(Washington, DC)Today, officials with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a new series of Federal grants, totaling $5.8 million, for school-based random student drug testing programs. Nearly 50 educational entities in 20 States were awarded random student drug testing grants, including schools in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Since the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the constitutionality of school-based random student drug testing in 1995 and 2002, the demand for random student drug testing has outpaced the Department of Education's grant award program, which has awarded over $40 million to roughly 140 educational and health entities to develop, implement, or expand random student drug testing since 2003. Random student drug testing programs test students who opt-into the drug testing program with their parents' or guardians' consent; participate in school athletic programs; or engage in competitive, extracurricular, school-sponsored activities.
Random student drug testing has solidified across the nation over the past five years, due in part to the Federal grant program. Over 4,000 schools nationwide have implemented a random student drug testing program to promote a healthy learning environment, and to shield young people's developing minds and bodies from dangerous and addictive substances - like marijuana.
"Student drug testing programs promote safer, healthier school environments where students can work toward achieving their full potential," U.S. Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said. "A good student drug testing program helps students defy peer pressure and say 'no' to drugs and alcohol, and provides the opportunity for at-risk students to get the support they need."
Similarly, the Office of National Drug Control Policy has supplemented the Department of Education's grant award program by holding over 30 local and regional educational summits on random student drug testing, including today's summit in Washington, D.C. The summits are geared toward informing educators, coaches, parents, and students about the programmatic and legal issues associated with random student drug testing. Random student drug testing programs are community-initiated, non-punitive, confidential, and provide services to those students in need.
"Every week, we receive requests from concerned parents and school administrators for more information on random student drug testing as a public health approach to prevent and deter drug and alcohol use among youth," said Dr. Bertha K. Madras, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at ONDCP. "Due to the numerous benefits of random student drug testing, which protects the health and well-being of students in a confidential and caring manner, public and private schools ranging from urban, suburban, and rural areas are investigating and implementing random student drug testing as part of their broader anti-drug curriculum. Random drug testing can provide schools a powerful deterrent to youth drug and alcohol use, and empower their young people to make positive life decisions."
This is the fifth grant award announcement for school-based random student drug testing programs since 2003.