Bill would require pre-employment drug screening for school workers

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 30, 2013 7:30 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A state lawmaker wants to make pre-employment drug screenings mandatory for teachers and others who work in schools.

Criminal background and child abuse checks are already required for potential school employees.

Representative Tony DeLuca says many private employers make applicants submit to drug screenings.

"If employees in other areas of the workforce can be required to be pre-screened for drug use, certainly Pennsylvania school employees should be held to the same standard," DeLuca says.

The Allegheny County Democrat says people involved with drugs should not be allowed to have daily contact with school children.

The bill would apply to all prospective employees of public and private schools, intermediate units and area vocational technical schools.

The measure has been referred to the education committee.

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Comments: 2

  • Mobile Health img 2013-04-01 08:25

    Drug testing teachers help raise the bar and select only the most committed professionals. Considering the dangers of workplace drug abuse, teachers are in a more critical position due to their leadership role model with students.

  • eeyore17026 img 2013-04-01 09:46

    I'm not convinced that this would really make much of a difference, to be honest. We have a pre-employment drug screening where I work and some people stop doing the illegal drugs several weeks prior to applying so their drug test comes back clean when they take it. Then they go right back to doing the drugs again once they have the job.

    I suppose this would catch people with a serious addiction who aren't able to quit - if they would even apply in the first place - so I suppose it might be worth something. Still, I wonder how many people wouldn't pass this sort of screening and if it is actually worth paying for all those tests.

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