Drug Testing

MARTINS FERRY students are performing quite well in the classroom as reflected in the recently released state report card.

Purple Rider student-athletes are also excelling in another type of testing — that being mandated drug testing.

The school district implemented drug testing for all student-athletes prior to the 2009-10 school year. During that initial year of testing, a few cases came back positive for use of banned substances.

Those few violations obviously served as a learning tool for Ferry student-athletes. This year, no drug tests came back positive.

That is a refreshing statement. It shows the program is meeting its intended purpose, that being educating student-athletes of the dangers of substance abuse and the subsequent penalties.

The students are tested for a number of controlled substances: amphetamines, barbiturates, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and cocaine as well as several others.

All the student-athletes are tested prior to their respective sport. Although they pass the initial drug test, it serves as no green light to dabble in banned substances as the school district administers random tests to about 10 percent of the students.

We view that as a wise move. Random tests will prove a major deterrent to possible drug use.

When Martins Ferry school officials announced their intentions to implement such a radical move, it was met by some opposition and doubters.

With the drug-testing program now operating efficiently two years in, we believe it should be embraced by student-athletes, staff members and parents alike.

Martins Ferry is joined by Barnesville and Cambridge in the realm of school districts utilizing drug testing. We commend them for being visionaries, as they make a difference in their respective students’ lives.