Counselors asked sophomores questions about substances in order to help collect data, Wednesday Jan. 15, and Thursday Jan. 16.
According to counselor Jolleen Filio, the screenings were designed to gauge how many students were using substances, as well as what substances were most commonly used. She added the screenings did not involve any physical tests, but instead relied on students being truthful.
“We’re relying on students’ honesty and openness. We want to assure students that what we talk about during these interviews are confidentiatial,” said Filio. “We don’t write names. We just get the data about what they’re using and how many times they’re using it.”
However, not all students expressed confidecne their peers would be truthful during the screenings.
“I don’t think it was very effective,” said sophomore Cameron Lowe. “Why would anyone admit to using drugs, especially to a school counselor?”
According to Filio, the data that was collected for the screenings would only be used by North and the state.
“The data is all anonymized. We send a copy to the state and they use that for their resource allocation. But aside from that, we only use it here for resource management, allocation, and getting a sense of what our students are doing,” said Filio.
Filio added that the screening was to help students, not to punish those using substances.
“We’re doing this not to get them in trouble, not to get punished, but we’re doing this to get them help, so if they’re struggling with substance use and if they want some help with that, then this would be a good opportunity to open the topic of conversation.”