Balanga town greenlights random drug testing in schools
All students enrolled in public and private schools in Balanga, Bataan province for school year 2017-2018 will undergo random drug testing under the guidelines released by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Under the DepEd guidelines, the measure is derived from Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002. The random drug testing for students, according to DepEd, will help tackle drug problem as a health issue, and aims to provide assistance to students who are using illegal drugs.
Gng. Merlinda C. Dominguez, EPS I, principal of Bataan National High School, said they have already reached out to their students’ parents to partner with them in this advocacy. In a letter sent to the parents, the school head said the results will be confidential in order to protect the dignity of the students who will undergo the drug test. The results will not be made public in any way, according to Dominiguez.
The school head also clarified that the results will not be used as basis for expulsion or disciplinary action against students. A student who’s proven positive for drug use will not face any legal action, nor will his or her academic records be affected.
Last August, DepEd released guidelines for conducting random drug tests on secondary schools nationwide, both public and private. Order No. 40 of 2017 signed by Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the drug tests will be implemented primarily for prevention and rehabilitation.
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