By Grace Deng
Shanghai American School’s drug testing policy is simple, at least in theory. Every month, a random selection of students from the middle school and high school are called into the office by intercom. They are assigned times to go to either an unused room or to the office to get drug tested. Once the student arrives, a person will cut off a lock of their hair near the roots and send it to the United States to be tested for drugs such as marijuana. Hair is considered the best drug test- drugs taken up to 30 days ago will still be detected in hair samples.
However, drug testing has always been a source of contention at this school. Many people claim to be drug tested multiple times in a row- the writer of this article, in fact, has been drug tested twice in a row. And students can be set at a higher chance of being drug tested if they have tested positive before, whether the test is a false positive or not. Alex Liu, a former student of SAS, was drug tested many times due to his former use of medicinal drugs to combat an illness.
Drug testing is also not very well explained at our school, either. The only time drug testing is mentioned to students that the writer is aware of is in the student handbook. Due to the lack of transparency the school has about drug testing, some students doubt that students are even actually being drug tested. Says Jason Kang, a sophomore at SAS: “I doubt they’re really testing anybody at all…I think it might be to frighten us.”
One of SAS’ high school teachers has confirmed with Pudong Press that the faculty is debating whether or not to even continue drug testing students. If SAS continues to drug test students, the topic will remain a controversial subject between students and faculty. If SAS doesn’t continue to drug test students, a whole new door of issues and concerns will be opened. This decision will not be easy on any counts.