Girl's faulty drugs test angers mother

A MOTHER has spoken out after her daughter tested positive for drugs at an Essex school because of her toothpaste.Megan Penn, 13, shocked teachers at Colne Community School in Brightlingsea when a random drugs test showed up positive for the class A drug crystal meth.

A MOTHER has spoken out after her daughter tested positive for drugs at an Essex school because of her toothpaste.

Megan Penn, 13, shocked teachers at Colne Community School in Brightlingsea when a random drugs test showed up positive for the class A drug crystal meth.

This sent alarm bells ringing for staff because the hard-working pupil was always so well behaved.

Her mum Penelope Penn, of St Osyth, was shocked to get a call to come into school to talk about the strange result which showed up in tests taken in December.


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She said: “I was very surprised. I didn't know what to think. I rang the school and they said it was very serious.

“I thought, 'I can't believe this, there's no way that this is right.'

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“I was worried and I spoke to our own GP. He did a test and it was completely clear. That helped but we still had to wait for the school results until after Christmas.”

As well as year nine pupil Megan, a year seven boy also tested positive for class B amphetamines, known as speed. The school suspended the tests and immediately launched an investigation into the dodgy results.

After Christmas, warehouse worker Mrs Penn, 40, received a letter revealing that the tests had been false and saying the wrong reading could have been caused by a chemical in a certain type of toothpaste.

Mrs Penn said she had not minded signing Megan up to the voluntary scheme in the first place but was now more wary.

The mum, who has three other children aged 18, 12, and nine, said: “I wasn't very happy. I don't feel very confident in the tests now.”

Colne Community School began random testing of pupils more than two years ago. Saliva samples can be tested for traces of cannabis, amphetamines, morphine and cocaine.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “The Colne Community School is able to confirm that recently two students were randomly drug tested in line with school procedures and the tests were positive.

“The school immediately became suspicious of the results and the results were sent off for further analysis.

“It subsequently became apparent that neither student had taken any illegal substance therefore the test results were incorrect.

“Testing procedures have now been modified and we have an even greater level of confidence in the whole testing process.”

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