New drug policies at Rockhurst HS prompt questions about BV policies, prevention

Sally Cochran, Editor in Chief

Rockhurst High School recently announced that they will be performing mandatory drug tests on all students starting in the fall 2013 school year.
Drug tests done by public schools are restricted by the Fourth amendment, which prohibits search and seizures without reasonable cause. However, Rockhurst is a private school, so students can be tested in the same way employees to private businesses can, according to the Kansas City Star.
“That would strictly be an administrative decision, and that would come from probably district office as far as I know,” School Resource Officer (SRO) Dennis Randall said. “I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but I understand how people can feel how intrusive it on on themselves. I understand that part of it too.”
Rockhurst will test students by using hair samples, according to the Kansas City Star.
At BV, if a student is suspected of being under the influence, he or she will be administered a sobriety test. Depending on the results, an arrest may be made.
“Here at school, the administration has that authority to do [sobriety tests], also,” Randall said. “So, you’ll have two consequences — you’ll have the school consequence, and then you’ll also have the criminal consequence.”
If a student is found under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school, he or she can be suspended for five days. If he or she brings in a clean drug test, then the suspension may be dropped to three days.
“Criminally, there is a difference [between different drugs],” Randall said. “You have misdemeanors and felonies. A Schedule I drug would be a felony. That would be your cocaine, your meth — things of this nature. The marijuana, the alcohol, it is not a Schedule I, so that would be a misdemeanor. But as far as the school is concerned, there’s no difference.”
‘Drug dogs’ also come through the school and the parking lot, smelling for any indication of drugs in the building or students cars. Last year, BV administration, Randall, and SRO Ken Braden decided to include the parking lot in the dogs’ search.
“When you put a request in for a parking permit, driving to school is a privilege — it’s not a right,” Randall said. “So, when you request a parking permit, you fill out the application, and there’s rules and regulations on that application. One of them states that your vehicle is subject to be searched whenever it’s on any school district property. So you agree to that when you sign your part of the application. Now, do all the kids read all the rules and regulations when they do that? They sure don’t, because I’ve asked them when they come in when I write them parking tickets and they park illegally, ‘Did you not know you couldn’t park there?’ ‘Well, no, I didn’t know that.’ ‘Well it’s rule number 10,’ or whatever. ‘Did you read the rules?’ ‘Well, no, I didn’t read the rules, I just signed it to get the parking permit.’”
Sophomore Rachel Cannon said she doesn’t remember agreeing to this rule when she signed her parking permit agreement, and worries that her car would be searched unnecessarily if a false claim were made.
“[If my car was searched] — I mean — I’d be kind of mad because its my car, and that’s my property,” she said. “It depends on what kind of proof they use. If someone tells them that I have drugs and they search my car, that’s not fair because anyone can say anything they want.”