(Cuyahoga County) - Three Cleveland-area Catholic high schools today revealed plans to launch a wellness initiative that includes testing for drugs.

Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, St. Edward High School in Lakewood, and Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland jointly announced the initiative.

They have retained the services of Psychemedics Corporation of Boston to conduct periodic drug assessment of students (grades 9-12), using a non-invasive hair sampling procedure.

The process of sampling will begin next fall with assessment of all students, followed by periodic random tests throughout the school year.

Father Murphy tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, the actual process of testing will not be conducted until the fall term. He claims, the initiative is based on love and not punishment, and is simply one more component in their student wellness effort.

Murphy contends that student reaction has largely been positive.

He maintains that if a student tests positive, the schools are committed to working with the student and his/her parents to identify resources to address the issue. Counselors at each of the three schools have identified community resources to make sure students who have substance abuse issues can get the help they need.

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