(BEDFORD) - "Project Clean" found that less than 10 percent of Bedford North Lawrence High School students failed drug screens.
BNL athletic director and leader of "Project Clean" Jeff Callahan says athletes and teenagers who drive to school are subject to the random tests. That is about about 800 of some 1,600 BNL students.
So far 260 drug test were given with only 21 coming back positive. Callahan explains the test are given randomly by an independent laboratory and the school has no say on who or when the test will be given. Illegible students are put alphabetically on a list and then randomly selected by the company, approximately 20 students are tested each time. Because the names are drawn randomly, sometimes a student can be tested twice while others don't get tested.
If a person tests positive, the student can be suspended from an athletic team or lose driving privileges. Repeat offenses draw stiffer penalties.
Of the 21 positive tests, 11 were for cotinine (found in tobacco), seven for cannabinoids (marijuana) and three were for amphetamines.
In the four years the school has conducted the program, it has administered 788 tests. Only 66 teenagers (8 percent) tested positive. And half of those failed because of tobacco use.
Money for the tests, which cost about $30 each, comes from grants and parking fees.
The school board approved higher parking fees for this year with the goal of administering more exams. So far this year, the school has given 260 tests, up from 180 in 2010-11, 156 in 2009-10 and 192 in 2008-09.
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