Briones: Students who test positive for drugs shouldn't be expelled
MANILA - Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Tuesday said results of mandatory drug tests on students will not be used as basis for expulsion from school or disciplinary action on students.
She said those who will test positive in the Department of Education's drug tests will undergo rehab treatment.
"We will not be announcing the actual testing, we’ll not be naming the particular schools, and we will not be making press releases or announcements but no specific data will be given and definitely no names will be released," Briones told ANC.
"The bottomline is the child should be protected. His identity should be kept confidential and he or she should not be penalized if there are findings. Nothing on the record of the child," she added.
"Whether or not a child is found positive for drug use, that is not basis for taking away his life," Briones said.
"We are working closely with National Privacy Commission because there are strict rules for those who will be affected by the drug test," she added.
Briones said the department is treating the drug prevalence in the country as a health problem.
"We look at this as a health problem so our partner is the Department of Health," she said.
In May, the DepEd has pushed for conducting drug tests among students, teachers, and personnel.
The drug testing is part of DepEd's efforts to support the anti-narcotics crackdown of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the department.
It will cover secondary students, elementary and secondary school teachers, and officers from the central, regional, and school division offices.