updated 9/1/2006 8:36:12 PM ET 2006-09-02T00:36:12

Officials at Winnisquam Regional Middle School will be offering parents more than spaghetti dinners and teacher meetings at an open house — they'll also be passing out home drug testing kits.

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Dave Tryon, the district's substance abuse coordinator, said there will be enough urine testing kits at a Sept. 21 open house for families of all 430 students, if they wish to take them. Drug use at Winnisquam — which serves Tilton, Northfield and Sanbornton — isn't higher than any other middle school, he said, adding that the point of the kits is to encourage parents to talk to their children about drugs.

He said the kits also may help kids refuse drugs.

"The student can say, 'I can't because, you know, my family drug tests at home,'" he said. "That gives the child a way out. And anytime you can give a child a way out of doing something risky, I can't see something wrong with that."

Winnisquam Superintendent Tammy Davis agreed. "Drug testing can be thought of as a report card that shows how successful a child has been in saying 'no' to drugs," she said.

Tryon said Thursday students haven't yet been told about the drug tests but so far response from school staffers has been positive.

"They're all for it, saying this is good," he said.

Tryon requested the kits from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Not My Kid, Inc., after finding its web site promoting "Project 7th Grade," which distributes free drug testing kits to middle schoolers, who are at the age when drug use often begins. In case of positive results, the project gives parents the opportunity to send the kits to a lab for free confirmation.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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