DepEd employees to undergo mandatory drug test: Briones

LEGAZPI CITY — All employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) would undergo mandatory drug testing.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the mandatory drug testing scheme among DepEd employees would be implemented soon following negative reactions by parents that the test should not apply only to students but also to the teachers and other school personnel.

She said: “The order for a mandatory drug testing would remove doubts still hanging from minds of parents that their children undergo random drug testing in schools.”

Briones, in a press conference on Thursday said she would issue a directive for the mandatory drug testing of DepEd employees from the central office down to various divisions all over the country.

She added that the drug testing would include herself together with the 1,300 employees at the central office and the thousands of DepEd teaching and non-teaching personnel across the country.

While the random drug testing for high school students would cover 25,000 students to be pick by a “stratified random selection” design prepared by research experts.

The education chief said the drug testing among students and teachers is a preventive measure.

Briones believes that the drug menace is to be treated as a health issue rather than a police issue.

Briones said she is partnering with the Department of Health (DOH) for them (DOH) to train 1,000 DepEd employees on how to deal with illegal drug issues.

She reiterated that the random drug test does not aim to put students in shame as the records would be kept secret.

Briones said the drug test result would not be used as the basis to expel a student from school.

The implementation of the drug test was deferred while it still waiting for the stratified random selection design method to be developed.  Mar Serrano/