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High School To Collect Students’ Hair For Mandatory Drug Testing

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Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

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Corrected January 31, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS St. Louis) — A Kansas City high school will begin collecting hair from students to conduct mandatory drug tests.

KSHB-TV reports that Rockhurst High School will start the random drug testing during the 2013-14 school year.

“Our point is, if we do encounter a student who has made some bad decisions with drugs or alcohol, we will be able to intervene, get the parents involved, get him help if necessary, and then help him get back on a path of better decision making, healthier choices for his life,” Rockhurst Principal Greg Harkness told KSHB-TV.

The school will collect 60 strands of hair from the student and test for several types of drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. If a student comes back with a positive drug test, that student will have 90 days to get drug-free. KSHB-TV reports the file will be destroyed for a student who tests positive after graduation and colleges and universities will never know about the failed test.

Matthew Brocato, the school’s junior class president, told The Kansas City Star that the mandatory drug testing is not to punish students who fail.

“When you hear ‘drug testing,’ you think cops,” Brocato told the Star. “At first you’re taken aback. Is it for the better?”

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