Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Söderhamn high school introduces random drug testing

Published 22 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Staffangymnasiet in Söderhamn will introduce random drug testing in the fall semester.

Staffangymnasiet in Söderhamn is planning to introduce random drug testing of students starting in the fall semester. The plan is that a quarter of the school’s students will soon be tested for drugs.

Secondary schools in the neighboring municipality of Bollnäs are also planning to introduce the measure – but critics argue that random testing without suspicion is unconstitutional.

The initiative is part of the high school’s “drug-free school” collaboration with social services. All students and parents will be given the opportunity to sign a consent form to participate in the drug testing. Drug testing of students is a method used in high schools today, but according to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, testing must be voluntary.

– When students enroll, they are given our drug policy to look at and go through with their parents. There are consent forms. As a parent, you can choose whether you want to be contacted if your child is randomly selected before the test, says Ann-Charlotte Låks, principal of Staffangymnasiet, to tax-funded SVT.

The first students to be drug tested will be the first year of the building and construction program and the first year of the vehicle and transport program in the fall. School nurses and counselors will conduct the tests using urine samples. Despite the signed consent form, students can always refuse to take the test.

Students Linn and Svante, who are in the third grade, think this is a good initiative because they see that there are a lot of drugs in Söderhamn.

– You want to keep it as far away from school as possible, Svante tells SVT.

Parents refuse to sign

But one parent with a child in high school finds the whole thing “absurd”.

– As parents, we will never sign a consent form that deprives our children of a protection that is enshrined in the Constitution, this protection against physical intervention, the parent told Söderhamnskuriren.

The goal is to randomly test 20-25 percent of Staffangymnasiet’s 670 students within 4-5 years.

Random drug testing will also be introduced at Hammargymnasiet and Torsbergsgymnasiet in Bollnäs this fall.

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