An Illinois high school will be testing students’ hair to find out if the kids have been drinking alcohol. In Chicago, the private Catholic school St. Viator High School will be adding random alcohol tests to the random drug tests it has been conducting since 2007.
The school will be testing students using a fairly new testing procedure—cutting off 50 milligrams of hair and sending it to a lab for testing. An employee with Psychemedics Corp., the company managing the testing, says, “We can pick up on levels as low as two to three drinks a week on average for up to three months.”
The school will be giving students a chance to mend their ways, and students who fail the alcohol test will be sent for counseling and tested again in 90 days. Public schools are only permitted to test students in extracurricular activities, and according to the ACLU, often drop wide testing programs because of the expense and lack of results.
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