Provo Schools to Offer Home Drug-testing Kits

Provo Schools to Offer Home Drug-testing Kits

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A school district is offering parents a $7 take-home drug test kit that will screen their children for six major classifications of drugs.

District officials say they received several requests for the kits after parents heard about their availability in the nearby Nebo school district.

"Parents are frustrated, and they want to trust kids, but they're concerned about the behavior they're seeing," said Greg Hudnall, Provo district's student services director.

Most Utah school districts don't test students or sell the kits.

The district has no involvement in processing the results, so the tests will remain completely private. Provo district does not have another drug testing program in place, and will only request a test if a student has been charged with drug possession and the court orders it.

The Nebo district has sold more than 500 kits in the last year despite not advertising the service. At the urging of parents, Nebo officials considered school drug testing last year, but ultimately rejected it because of its expense and privacy concerns.

Murray is the only school district in Utah to implement regular testing of students. The district began random drug testing of athletes in 1997 and has since seen a decrease in drug use, which administrators credit to the testing program.

Other districts have shied away from testing programs for several reasons, including student privacy, fairness, reliability, cost and effectiveness in preventing drug use.

The kit offered in Provo will test students for amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, opiates and barbiturates.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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