Drug Testing required for admission
Published: Monday, April 1, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 1, 2013 19:04
Local organization Students Against Drugs recently moved a bill through Parkland College’s board that will require new and current Parkland students to submit to a mandatory drug test before registering for classes every semester.
In addition, students who wish to participate in school clubs, events, and sports teams must be willing to be tested biweekly or randomly as the advisor sees fit.
Students Against Drug’s president Gretchen Lamee stated that the reason her club saw the bill as necessary was because she was tired of the drug abuse she saw in the school
“Almost every day I see kids in class high. I know that they infuse their skittles and a cigarette with drugs so they won’t get caught, and I think it is sick,” Lamee explained.
Students are not the only ones affected by this bill. College professors and faculty will also be subjected to monthly screenings to insure the use of drugs does not continue within the Parkland community.
Admissions and Drug Testing supervisor Peter Ross commented that the tests were heartbreaking, because over 70% of the students tested were coming up positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana.
“We have a chemical that turns the urine pink if there is any THC in it. Pink pee, that is all I see every day, so much pink pink pee,” Ross explained.
Ross claimed that the rates were so high that the board decided that those students who failed would be given a second chance two weeks after their first testing.
Students who fail a second time, however, are suspended from the school for one semester, and referred to Narcotics Anonymous meetings to help them cope with their addictions.
Although some students were excited to hear that they would finally have a chance to prove how clean and good they were, many more were infuriated by the idea of being subjected to testing.
“Dude, look, it is my right to do what I want with my body. Like, I say what I wanna do so why does my school have to be up in my business?” Philosophy major Bernardo Liam responded to the new bill.
Liam claimed that he has been tested twice now, and both times his urine turned out to be pink.
Liam’s suspension is not the only one on campus; several students have received the notice that they would not be welcome back to classes until the fall semester. However, there is still hope for those who received the negative sentence.
“I mean, like yeah I got expelled and everything but like, I still just come and kind of sit around, play card games or whatever. They didn’t expel us from the campus which is cool, so I am just gonna like sit and wait it out,“ former Mass Communications major Ronnie Daniels explained.
For those students and faculty members who have yet to submit their urine for testing, the deadline to submit for the upcoming fall semester is April 1, 2013. Any submissions after that date will not be accepted and those students who failed to submit to the testing will be immediately dropped from their classes.
Students wishing to submit a urine sample are encouraged to make the sample on campus, so the sample is warm and fresh for the testing. Urine cups are not being provided to save money, so students are encouraged to buy Tupperware with a firm seal lid to contain their urine.
However, in protest to this new bill, many students are thinking outside of the box in order to spite the testers subjecting them to the tests.
“I have received urine samples in anything from Tupperware, old pickle jars, baggies, soft drink cups, goldfish jars with plastic wrap over it. The only rules we had for the tests were that the container had to be sealed with the student ID clearly visible on the side. I think next year we might make it a little bit stricter,”Ross said.
The board is considering repealing the drug-testing bill after finding out that many more faculty and staff were coming into pink waters with the testing than had been originally anticipated.
As for now, students wishing to remain at Parkland must remain drug free. If you or someone you know has an addiction problem or needs help coping with the withdrawals from THC, contact a local drug-care specialist who can point you in the right direction.