School to Hold Random Drug Tests
A school in central Sweden will start random drug testing on students this week, despite criticism from the national school authority. Brinellgymnasiet secondary school in Nässjö has sent letters to the parents of the 400 students attending the school, explaining that the tests will be voluntary. The local authority in Nässjö decided to introduce the tests in reponse to a drug problem at the school. Sweden's Schools Inspectorate previously refused to grant the school permission for the tests and has condemned the move. The head of Brinellgymnasiet, Jan Andersson, told Swedish Radio News that random testing is justified and that many pupils had already agreed to participate.
It is unclear how students will be called for the tests. One option being considered involves sending text messages to students' mobile phones, in order to avoid stigmatising those selected.
According to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, it is illegal to carry out obligatory drug tests and students may feel forced into taking voluntary tests.
"I am very suprised that the local authority has not accepted our decision," said Ann-marie Begler, director of the Schools Inspectorate.
"We are appointed by the government to interpret and apply the law in schools and the local authority has clearly not accepted that. I think it's incredible"