PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

Acadia Christian institutes student drug testing



PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

John Linnehan, president of the parent group that oversees Acadia Christian School, worries about students using drugs and alcohol.

TRENTON — John Linnehan said he sees stories in the news almost every day that illustrate what he calls the “unbelievable” drug problem in the area.

As president of the Gospel, the parent group that oversees Acadia Christian School, Linnehan worries about students using drugs and alcohol — possibly harming their own bodies, and potentially putting the safety of others in jeopardy, too.

Linnehan recently came up with the idea of instituting a random drug and alcohol testing policy at the school.

Most parents want to know if their student is using drugs or alcohol, Linnehan said. He said the goal of the policy is to promote a safe environment for students.

A grandparent, Linnehan said if a staff member suspected his child of using drugs he would want the school to investigate.

“I’d be tickled to death to have them drug tested,” he said. “So I could know.”

Acadia Christian has about 85 students in kindergarten through grade 12, according to Linnehan. The policy, which went into effect Feb. 4, only applies to the approximately 25 students in grades 7-12.

Linnehan said the policy may be expanded to include younger students in the future.

Though the policy is called “random,” that’s something of a misnomer. As explained by Linnehan, a student would only be tested if someone shared information about possible student drug use with the school principal.

The principal would then try to figure out whether the suspicion was valid.

“We don’t trust rumors,” Linnehan said.

A consent form has been sent home for parents and students to sign. If a student tests positive or refuses a drug test they could face expulsion.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller has worked at The Ellsworth American since 2012. He covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast’s Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland. sfuller@ellsworthamerican.com