CANTON, Mass., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Student Drug Testing Forum, hosted and moderated by Avitar, (OTC Bulletin Board AVRN.OB), featured a lively and informative debate on the topic of student drug testing. Nationally recognized industry experts from across the country assembled in Boston to share their knowledge on the issue. Representatives from local Massachusetts schools / school districts attended to benefit from the opportunity, including: Taunton, Ipswich, South Hadley, Weymouth and Lynn Classical.
The following individuals participated in the Student Drug Testing Forum:
-- David Evans, Esq., Drug Free Schools Coalition
-- Calvina Fay, Drug Free America Foundation
-- Tom Angell, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
-- Whitney Taylor, Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts
-- Noreen Gachignard, Salem School Committee
-- Frank Rothwell, Vice Principal, Framingham High School
Topics spanned from teenage substance abuse and effective strategies for combating addiction, to the benefits of student drug testing.
Tom Angell (Students for Sensible Drug Policy) commented that testing student athletes would only serve to exclude at-risk students from participating in extracurricular activities. Mr. Angell also argued that drug testing undermines trust between students and teachers.
Calvina Fay (Drug Free America Foundation) and David Evans (Drug Free Schools Coalition) both argued that student drug testing is not only an effective deterrent that has been proven to work in school districts, such as those in New Jersey, but a necessary component of a comprehensive drug free school policy.
Frank Rothwell (Framingham High School / Vice Principle) and Noreen Gachignard (Salem School Committee) provided "real world" insight on current perceptions of drug testing in their schools and towns . Rothwell commented that it is important to maintain a good relationship with students, however, stated his belief in the strong effectiveness of drug testing as a deterrent at Framingham High School.
The Student Drug Testing Forum, held on September 21, 2005 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel, concluded with everyone in agreement that making any drug- testing program non-punitive and providing counseling to students that are using drugs is vitally important.
Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of random student drug testing as a deterrent to drug use. A study of Indiana schools by Joseph R. McKinney, J.D., Ed.D. Ball State University, and a study of the Hunterdon High School in New Jersey, both provided clear evidence that drug-testing programs are an important component in any comprehensive drug free school policy.
In addition, an informal poll conducted by Avitar in August, 2005, indicated the majority of school officials believe that illicit drug use is not declining in their schools.
Avitar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets innovative and proprietary products. Their field includes the oral fluid diagnostic market, the disease and clinical testing market, and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Avitar manufactures ORALscreen®, the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse, as well as HYDRASORB®, an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. Avitar is also developing diagnostic strategies for disease and clinical testing in the estimated $25 billion in-vitro diagnostics market. Conditions targeted include influenza, diabetes, and pregnancy. For more information, see Avitar's website at https://avitarinc.com.
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