A total of 10,071 public school teachers in Bohol will have to undergo drug testing which will be carried out at “random” including 402 non teaching personnel to ensure student safety and flag drug users before they worm into the school system.
District Supervisors and other school authorities are exempted from the random drug tests.
Dr. Desiderio Deligero, Chief of the School Governance and Operations Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) Bohol Division told DYRD Balita that an executive conference has been set with district school supervisors next week to discuss the planned random drug tests.
The planned drug tests comes in the wake of the statement of DepEd Regional Director Julieta Jeruta that instead of pouring funds into drug testing the priority for this year is for the implementation of the Senior High School program and the training of the newly hired teachers.
The 486 new hires that will handle Grade 11 of the Senior High School hurdled the drug tests before their appointments were approved as a requirement for employment.
Testing usually involves a urine test that looks for drugs like shabu, marijuana and amphetamines. A urine drug testing kit estimated cost is P250 – P350 per kit.
A grade 3 and 4 teacher of the Bartolome Doria Elementary School in Barangay Calunasan Norte, Loboc, Eladio Yagao Mendoza was caught red handed by Loboc police operatives selling shabu during a buy bust operation on April 22, 2016.
Recalling the incident, Deligero said “we are planning to push through with the random drug testing to identify and nip in the bud those who are into drugs and give school authorities to respond to the situation”.
Deligero said that the drug testing of teachers is a practical response to the pervasive reality of the drug menace that is now acknowledged as a threat to the school system.
As surrogate parents to students, teachers should set an example but according to recent studies the manner in which drug testings are handled is crucial since the element of surprise has always been skirted defeating the purpose of the tests.
However, a mandatory drug test for all non teaching personnel of the DepEd was met with stiff resistance last year as a violation of their human rights and was eventually suspended. (Chito M. Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)