OF INTEREST TO PARENTS
Ask Questions and Become Informed about RSDT
It is every parent's right and responsibility to be informed about student drug testing in school. Knowing the right questions to ask can help understand the background, policy, and procedures behind a drug testing program.
The answer to these questions should be covered in the school's student drug testing policy. If they are not, ask. Administrators in charge of the RSDT program should be able to give you clear answers to ALL of these simple questions:
- How will the drug test be administered?
- Where will the test be administered?
- When will my child be tested?
- Who will know the results of the drug test?
- Will I know what day my child will be tested?
- How will I be notified of the results?
- Who will administer the drug test?
- Will positive results be confirmed?
- What will happen to my child's record when he/she leaves the school?
- Will student drug testing results affect future educational and professional opportunities?
Read some expected answers to these questions. [PDF]
Talk with your Children
Becoming involved with your children is a good way to prevent drug abuse. Here are some basic rules to follow:
- Learn who, what, when, and where: Know what is going on in your children's lives by asking about school, work, and after-school activities.
- Support community efforts to encourage drug-free environments such as school drug prevention programs (including student drug testing) and PTA committees.
- Look at newspaper articles, TV shows, and advertisements: Use them as "teachable moments" with your children to bring up the subject of drugs.
- Talk about your children's future early and often: What do you expect from your children? What do your children expect from you?
- Help your children feel good about themselves and their achievements. Show excitement about what they care about and help them achieve their goals.
- Set standards for drug and alcohol use. Take a stand on cigarettes, beer, liquor, and illegal drugs. Let your children know what behavior is expected of them.
The booklet from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy includes examples of conversations for parents and teens about drugs What You Need To Know About Drug Testing In Schools. [PDF]
The National Drug Free Workplace Alliance's Parent Resource, Communication: The Key to Keeping Our Kids Drug Free [PDF], reviews parenting challenges, building communication skills, and how to positively influence your children's behaviors and decisions.
Responding to a Positive Test
While most of the time drug tests will come back negative, if a positive test result is confirmed, consider the following:
- Let your children know that your commitment to their being drug-free is based on your love and respect for them.
- Talk with your children about their drug use and let your children know of your expectation that they stay drug-free.
- Do not discipline your children when you are angry or upset.
- Ask for help and be open to advice. Raising drug-free children is a long-term process that will not respond to short-term solutions.
- Support drug testing at your school. Talk with the counselors at your school and get their ideas for how to handle your family problems.
- If your school maintains a list of parents who have indicated they are willing to help others, make contact with them and learn from their experiences.
- Get professional help if the drug use persists. Use the resources available to you for referrals for treatment if needed.
Parenting Practices: Help Reduce the Chances Your child Will Develop a Drug or Alcohol Problem from the Partnership at Drugfree.org.