Results of random drug test among students confidential: DepEd

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) regional office in Bicol assured the public that the random drug testing (RDT) for junior and senior high school students, both in private and public schools, will be purely confidential, a DepEd official said.

DepEd-Bicol Assistant Regional Director Tolentino Aquino, in a press conference Thursday, said they need to protect the welfare, safety and security of the learners, so the results of the random drug testing will be 100 percent confidential to the public.

The main purpose of the conduct of drug testing in public and private schools is to determine the prevalence of drug use among the students and extent of the hard drugs problem in schools, Aquino explained.

DepEd recently released the guidelines for the conduct of drug testing for school year 2017-2018 with a 95-percent confidence level on the results.

"We have to emphasize, if a student who tested positive, the drug testing coordinator will inform the parents and students of the results, and the information is regarded with utmost secrecy and confidentiality," Aquino said.

Students found to be drug dependent will undergo the prescribed intervention program under the supervision of a Department of Health- accredited facility or physician or private practitioners in consultation with the parent. The process of observation and counselling shall be done in coordination with the drug counselor of the school, Aquino said.

He added that a positive confirmatory drug test result shall not be a ground for expulsion nor any disciplinary action against the student and shall not be reflected in any and all academic records.

The results shall not be used to incriminate any student for further legal action and shall not be used as evidence in any court or tribunal where the subject student stands to be accused.

Aquino said while the students undergo interventions, they will be subject to a modular type of teaching, adding that materials are available for that kind of scheme, and it will be a home-based type of learning.

He said students would not be exposed to humiliation if they test positive for drug use.

“The DepEd created a Data Confidentiality Committee. The parent and the student only will have the result of the test. The name of the students will not be released as well as the names of the schools,” Aquino said.

At present, DepEd-Bicol is undertaking measures to inform all public and private secondary schools of the said testing. (by Connie Destura, PNA)