School admin expresses confidence in ongoing drug testing program


Klair Vogel

Photo by Klair Vogel

Dyllan Jones, Editor

It is a well-known fact among school staff and alumni that drug testing has been in effect in Iola High School since October 2017. As of January 2018, there have been no official reports of technical failures within the program.

Detailed information about testing results cannot be disclosed, as those details are proprietary to school administration and the school board. That said, Principal Mr. Crenshaw was available to represent the administration by clarifying its stance on the status of the testing program, the methodology used to determine who will be tested, and the trustworthiness and availability of information on those issues.

Mr. Crenshaw’s broad stance on ongoing drug testing is that it’s “non-invasive” and “successful.”

“We’ve only been two months into testing. So far, there haven’t been any hiccups, and there haven’t been any problems, ” Crenshaw said.

Student testing participants are chosen at random by a computer program which scrambles student names in a spreadsheet.

Crenshaw stressed that the random sampling is always observed by a witness to ensure that he is held accountable. “I never randomize alone. I always make sure that Mr. Carson is in here, or another adult, to watch me hit the random button.”

It is unlikely that the program will see any major changes in the near future. “We really need to get this year under our belt and try to evaluate everything before we try to change anything. And again, my hope and dream is to go to the school board at the end of the year and say: ‘gee, we don’t have any problems here at all,’ and spend the money on something else.”

Be advised: as with any hot button issue, those affected should remain aware of the potential for exaggerations which may shape public opinion.

Crenshaw stated that the drug policy “has been published by the school district on the website and the student handbook since last spring.”

“. . . [The correct information] has been in the handbook, the newspaper, and the school newspaper. I thought we did a good job getting that information out.”

Drug testing is not meant to incite panic among students. According to Crenshaw, the school administration wants nothing more than “a smooth transition that becomes a part of the culture and isn’t a big deal.”