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Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brother

  1. Rob Cypher
    A Massachusetts-based medical company hopes to expand its market into drug-testing private school students with the help of its CEO’s brother.

    James Kubacki oversees St. Edward High School in Cleveland, and his brother, Raymond Kubacki, is president and CEO of Psychemedics, which claims at least $7 million in quarterly revenue.

    But the company sees an opportunity for growth.

    “Our primary focus is workplace drug testing,” Raymond Kubacki said last year. “Secondarily would be emerging markets, and one of those would be schools and colleges.”

    Cleveland Scene reported that the company will provide those services to three private schools in northeast Ohio, including St. Edward, that plan mandatory drug testing for all students starting next fall.

    About 980 students at St. Edward will be tested for illegal drug use, along with 340 students at Gilmour Academy and about 1,500 at St. Ignatius High School.

    No other schools in the area currently test students for drug use.

    “This came about as a proactive, preventative measure,” said K.C. McKenna, vice president of admissions and marketing at St. Edward. “There was nothing in our own community that necessarily prompted this. This is not a reactionary endeavor by any means.”

    McKenna said a committee, which included members of the school’s board of trustees and faculty members, decided to work with Psychemedics.

    He admits the school’s president knew a little more about the company his brother had overseen since 1991, but McKenna said James Kubacki’s “brother being CEO of that company in no way led to us making the decision to use Psychemedics.”

    School officials did not notify parents of the relationship between the school president and the company’s CEO, but they said committee members from all three schools were aware of the possible conflict of interest.

    “How we picked the company isn’t of interest to high school boys,” said Lisa Metro, spokeswoman for St. Ignatius. “They’re more interested in how it’s going to play out to them.”

    Hair follicle testing costs about $40 to $50 per student, according to schools already working with the company.

    But McKenna said the tests would encourage students to back down from peer pressure and say no to drug use.

    The drug-testing market has declined as attitudes about privacy and drug use have changed.

    Mandatory, random drug testing in public schools has been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, but Raymond Kubacki still sees opportunities for growth in private schools, which have more latitude to make decisions.

    “We already have educational programs, counseling and intervention programs in place but, given the pressures our students face, now is the time to take an even more aggressive stance against this threat,” St. Ignatius administrators told parents in a letter sent Tuesday.

    McKenna said feedback from students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive so far.

    The program goes into effect beginning by the end of this summer.

    The schools said discipline would be handled on a case-by-case basis, factoring in levels of addiction and student cooperation with the process.

    All three schools said Psychemedics was chosen because it offered hair testing instead of urine, because follicle testing can show drug use up to 90 days earlier.

    Travis Gettys
    Raw Story
    May 1, 2014



  1. LadySue
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    There is so much wrong with this - as a parent, I surely wouldn't be positive about it on many levels. I don't think it's appropriate for a school to be in this position - that is my job as a parent if I have concerns about my child.

    Also, I read in another article that the school would only pursue counseling for kids that test positive; that they would not pursue any punitive action (criminal or otherwise). My immediate thought was "yea right!". I find it interesting that this article contradicts that statement saying "discipline" would be handled on a case by case basis.

    My question is why isn't the testing being performed on a case by case basis? I could understand somewhat if a child is displaying using behaviors (missing class, sleeping in class, coming to class high, etc.), but even then I think having the school in a position to mandate a drug test and then decide what action is to be taken thereafter, is overstepping their authority in a child's life.

    This reminds me of that Florida governor that was pushing for drug testing of all state employees and everyone on welfare - funny enough, he was co-founder of an urgent care chain whose drug testing was one of its more popular services.

    Both situations just stink of greed and personal gain. BLECH!
  2. MikePatton
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    In my opinion this is extremely counterproductive. The reason for that, is that every pot-smoking teen friend I ever had who was subject to regular drug testing simply started smoking synthetic cannabinoids instead, and completely fucked up his health. All this really does is make kids use drugs that can't be detected by UA, and are much, much, much more dangerous to them.
  3. LadySue
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    Mike - you bring up an excellent point I hadn't even considered. However, they are doing hair analysis. Can synthetics be picked up with that?
  4. Diverboone
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    So much for the 4th Amend. I do wonder what is taught in these schools in place of the Bill of Rights? A suspicion less search that does not meet one of the 4th Amend exceptions is a violation of the students Rights to the extreme.

    I'm sure that when this issue lands in the Court the defense is going to be the students do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy since these schools are privately operated. The question is will this stand in Court? Does a student lose privacy in their own bodies by attending a private school?

    Since when has it became the responsibility of the schools to intrude into the family and parenting of their children? Also what are the pro's and con's. Will the results be worth the investment? Most likely not!

    If a student were to test positive what measures are in place for the student to defend their self? Are positives going to be confirmed using more reliable confirmation testing? How accurate is this testing and who is overseeing the lab?

    1% of 500 students are drug users, say test is 99% accurate. Will result in 10 testing positive, 5 of which are drug users, the other 5 are innocent. So 50% of the students that accused of drug use are wrongfully accused. This is a result of Bayes' Theorem, more info can be located on the following thread. http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=230543
  5. Mr. Finklewoort
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    If it's a private school can't they technically do what they want?

    I could see this being an issue at regular high schools, but if you're sending your kid to a private one there's gonna be more rules and structure.
  6. Diverboone
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    You are correct, because this issue involves private schools and technically people under the age of majority are not the overseer of their Civil Rights. That duty falls upon their legal guardian, parent or whoever is legally responsible for the child. Which would mean if the parents are in agreement with their child's school policy, the child is subject to follow that policy or face disciplinary sanctions.
  7. Phenoxide
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    In that case I think they should make all of the tendering process documentation available to the parents. That should dispel any perception that the policy was put in place not for the good of the kids, but so that school funds could be embezzled by the president's family. Let the parents decide whether the deal represents value for money, and allow them to opt out of having their kids tested. I wouldn't be surprised if the only company they approached and received a quotation from was his brother's. Sounds like they were already making excuses along those lines. From the closing line of the article you'd think that this company were the only one in the US that offered hair follicle testing.
  8. LadySue
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    Well that bit of information about the brother is definitely out of the bag now. It's been all over the local news.

    Because they are all private schools, the only option a parent has if they disagree with this, is to pull their child out of that school. Pretty sucky option in my opinion.

    Also, all three of these schools are well-known for their sports teams (which of course, results in higher tuition). Wonder if they'll include performance enhancement drugs with the testing?
  9. MikePatton
    Re: Ohio school to drug test all students using $40 kits sold by its president’s brot

    I think most of the new synthetic cannabinoids won't show up in a standard hair analysis because they are too new to have been implemented in the test. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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