The world we live in today is a confusing one. The age of exposure to drugs, alcohol and other such activities is falling rapidly. In the Henderson School District, middle school students are drug tested, but not as many middle school students test as high school students. For Assistant Principal Holly Perry, middle school drug testing is imperative to the changing education system.

I know that our high school students deal with drug and alcohol issues/dependencies in today’s world,” Perry said. “I feel that being proactive to a problem is definitely better than being reactive.  If we can catch a potential problem in the beginning stages and get help for our students, then I believe we should.”

Awareness is one of the best combatants to any negative force, and middle school drug testing fights hard against the drug epidemic. By utilizing the hormonal minds of pre-teens, fear keeps students from participating in drug or alcohol abuse.

“At middle school they are still afraid of being caught so I think some choose not to even try,” Perry said. “This is not the case for HS students.”

In addition to promoting drug and alcohol awareness in young students, middle school drug testing sets a precedent for what will be expected of high school UIL participants. The UIL participant waiver for band, academics, sports, choir for middle school and high school both require the students agreement to random drug testing.

“Using the same format as high school testing, drug testing at Middle School helps students understand that they are accountable for all of their actions,” teacher and UIL coordinator Emili Foster said. “By testing early, hopefully students are made aware that they will be held to a drug-free standard before they contemplate using drugs for the first time.”

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