School Starts Collecting Students' Hair for Random Drug Testing

Rant 5

cutting hairHow worried are you about your kids and drugs? Worried enough, say, to enroll your kid in a school where they collect samples of students' hair and send them off for drug tests?

That's the new program at a Kansas City private school, and yes, it's mandatory. If your kid is enrolled, your kid is subject to the kind of random drug testing that's nearly impossible to fool. Way to teach the kids that nobody trusts them, huh?

My daughter is only 7, so the threat of marijuana and worse (shudder) are still several years away for us. I don't know what it's like to see your kid changing and wondering, "Are they on drugs or is it just being a teenager?"

But that's not to say I haven't considered long and hard what to do about my kid and drugs. I'm of the mind that you have to start talking about some of these tough topics young.

Part of it is the change in society. There are kids getting pregnant at 11 these days! Drugs are being sold on the playground! You have to arm your kids!

But part of it, too, is the need to keep open the lines of communication with our kids. I don't want to be the parent whose kid is terrified of talking to her about pot. I don't want to be the parent who has to depend on the school's random drug testing policy to keep my kid's nose clean.

I want her to feel comfortable talking to me. I want her to let me know if someone has offered her drugs or if -- God forbid -- she's been tempted to try them. In order to do that, we need to talk. A LOT.

And I need to set her loose. You've heard that old saying about how if you love someone, you set them free? If they come back, they're yours, if not, they never were? It's true of kids too, in a way.

If you're really making an impact on your kids, when you give them a little bit of rope, they use it to make their way back to you.

Kids need to know that we trust them in order for them to trust us. And when they trust us, they will talk to us. Not about everything, but about the big stuff.

So what do you think? Would you enroll your kid in a school where they do random drug testing?


Image via Jkrizni/Flickr

drugs & alcohol, school


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handy... handy0318

I would in a heartbeat if my kid started having problems with drugs.  As it is, we converse about drugs and I'm pretty convinced that neither have any desire to go that route (understandable as drugs were the main reason each lost their birthfamilies)...

But, should drugs become a problem, then not only doing hair-folicle drug testing a good idea, but having them in an environment where the other kids have strong incentives to stay clean seems like a pretty good idea to me.

nonmember avatar Not A Mom Yet

I would enroll my hypothetical kid in a school that required random drug testing if there were other great reasons to choose the school, but I wouldn't choose a school for that reason specifically.

When I was in HS and then college I was a high-level athlete, and I knew that it meant I could be (and was at times) subject to random drug-testing. I never got the impression that nobody trusted me, rather I learned a lesson that sometimes doing something you love comes with requirements that you don't like.

nonmember avatar Jane

It's been 6 years since I graduated high school (private school) and the entire time I was there we had our hair cut once a year for random drug testing. In my junior year, they switched it to mandatory random urine tests. I would pick the random hair cutting any day over having your name called before lunch to go stand in front the cafeteria and drink as much water as you can until you had to pee in a cup in the presence of faculty while all your classmates got to eat lunch. The only parents who had to worry about their children possibly doing drugs were the parents of the football players and cheerleaders because those students were exempt from random drug tests as sports was what our school was known for. I would have no problem with my child having the hair drug testing but I wouldn't put my child through the humiliation of being urine tested for no real reason.


My public high school starting doing it a few years after they became their own district. The year after I graduated they started doing the hair tests.

berna... bernard808

I went to a private high school, and we had mandatory drug testing via hair samples. It was about twice a year. I never had the thought that I wasn't trusted. I suppose this would be different if only particular students were singled out, but we were all tested so we didn't give it a second thought.

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