DepEd: High school students to also undergo random drug tests

Image from Leonor Magtolis Briones' Facebook account
  • Education secretary said random drug testing to also be done on high school students
  • She explained that tests primarily for prevention and rehabilitation
  • She also warned of sanctions for schools and parents who defy order

MANILA, Philippines – The DepEd has given the go-signal for random drug testing to be done on high school students.

In her order, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said all public and private schools are directed to conduct random drug tests on their high school students this year as part of the DepEd’s initiative against the use of illegal substances among the youth.

“DepEd is committed to strengthen the department’s programs on anti-illegal drugs for students. Relevant bureaus and services have been directed to further enhance the anti-illegal drugs component of the curriculum,” the Philippine Star quoted her as saying.

“On co-curricular intervention, DepEd is intensifying its youth formation initiatives and advocacies, through the capacity building of youth formers and the provision of programs and activities for leadership development among learners. On authorized drug testing, DepEd will conduct drug testing among secondary students,” she added.

Briones also explained that the testing is not a form of harassment, but a method aimed at prevention and rehabilitation. She said confidentiality will be upheld, and students found to test positive will be treated via counseling and intervention programs.

If the student shows no signs of improvement or recovery, or fails the drug test the second time, the Department of Health-accredited facility or physician may make a recommendation to the student, parent or drug testing coordinator to have a student referred to a facility,” she continued.

Briones also warned of appropriate action against schools who refuse to implement her order.

“Schools that refuse to implement the random drug testing program shall be reported to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Dangerous Drugs Board for appropriate action,” she said.

For non-cooperative parents, Briones said they could take appropriate legal action against them for their refusal to treat their child.