School Drug Testing
Drug Testing Arrangement
Frequency of drug tests and number of selected students for sampling
- Participating schools shall co-ordinate with partner non-governmental organisations to jointly formulate the mode of testing and operational details.
- School drug testing should be conducted at irregular time intervals to avoid the schedule being predictable by students. Schools can flexibly arrange the frequency of testing according to their individual schedules and situations.
- Prior to the commencement of drug testing scheme, schools are required to explain to students and their parents/guardians and distribute the form of Consent to Participation to them.
- After receiving the Consent to Participation, the school principal or the school project assistant (SPA) should compile a participating students’ list and pass it to School Drug Testing (SDT) Team for random selection.
- The SDT Team will encode the students’ name list, the computer programme will randomly select a list of students for drug testing. The selected students will only be informed when they proceed to receive the drug test.
- The SDT Team will pass the randomly selected student list with the student codes to the school principal and the SPA one working day before the drug test via secure communication. The school principal and/or SPA will then arrange the testing sequence in accordance with the selected students’ class schedules.
- Students who have been randomly selected for drug test will remain in the master list and subject to future random selection. Therefore, chances of being selected for drug testing will remain the same for all participating students.
Schedule for drug testing
- Schools can choose to allow SDT Teams to conduct the drug test during lesson hours or after school.
- To conduct the drug test during lesson hours, the confidentiality of the testing schedule can be enhanced, the management of the drug test will be easier and more effective and this will not hinder any prior engagement of students, which may result in reducing their desire to participate. The entire process of urine specimen taking and testing will take only about 15 minutes.
- To conduct the drug testing after school, selected students are then required to stay behind after school, this may interrupt their pre-engagements which may reduce students’ desire to participate. Besides, schools may need to provide extra resources (e.g. staff and classroom etc.), and may also increase the workload of school teachers and staff. In addition, the selected students will be informed in advance to stay behind on the day of the testing, hence a risk of divulging the testing schedule and privacy of students.
Informing students to the drug test
- Schools may choose a suitable method to summon selected students to an interview room for the drug test.
- From the experience in the Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing in Tai Po District, a summon slip was commonly used to summon students to interview rooms for the testing.
- Only information instructing students where to immediately meet the principal, social worker or school staff will be written on the summon slip to protect students’ privacy.
- Depending on the usual practices of the school, class returning slips could also be used by schools to arrange selected students to return to their classrooms after the testing.