Perry Township schools proposing new ‘reasonable suspicion’ drug test policy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A south side school district is working to put in place their first-ever drug test policy on school grounds.

“For testing, no not right now this is new for us. It’s our first time walking in these waters. We’re looking at ways we may be able to protect and help our students," said Robert Bohannon, an Assistant Superintendent at Perry Township Schools.

It’s a move that administrators say is unavoidable in today’s society.

“What I think right now that has pushed the envelope a little bit more has been the vaping. That’s new for us,” said Bohannon. “We understand that students are making some choices that may be unhealthy for them.”

Perry Township School leaders proposed a policy that would allow school officials to require a drug test if there’s reasonable suspicion a student was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Whether it be slurred speech, whether it be something significant that you could see wrong with the student, a change in their behavior,” Bohannon added.

Under the proposal, Bohannon says someone would be trained on-site to administer the tests, like a nurse or school resource officer.

The proposal will also require two administrators will also be to get involved in each testing.

Bohannon stresses this is not a random drug testing policy and they would notify parents if there was a suspicion that their child was under the influence.

“It’s become a need in our society, not just in Marion County but as you look statewide and nationwide now there’s a need for us to ensure that whenever we can support our kids and help our kids, especially from a safety standpoint we need to be able to do that from a school side of things,” said Bohannon.

There’s no specific timeline for the drug testing policy and guidelines to be put into action.  Bohannon anticipates it could happen in the next two months. He says parents and students will be notified.

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