Parents upset after random drug tests leave students with patches of missing hair

Published: Oct. 23, 2018 at 6:33 PM CDT
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Several parents in the town of Phillipsburg, Kan. are upset after patches of hair were taken from their children's head during random drug testing.

Superintendent Mike Gower said the district recognized the problem and is addressing it.

He said the parents are notified of the day their child will be tested. They are also invited to be present.

Gower said the district started random drug testing last year after parents voiced concern about middle and high school students using drugs.

They requested the hair follicle testing because it can show whether someone has been using drugs back 90 days.

Gower said the company usually takes 100 to 120 strands of hair - the diameter of a pencil.

He apologized for what happened recently to students.

"I'm not going to throw the company under the bus or the board or anybody else," said Gower. "I'm the superintendent, what happens here is on me. I apologize to those kids and those parents. We're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."

He said the district will look into other drug testing companies.

Eyewitness News put a call into the company that performs the tests. We're still waiting to hear back.