Drug testing has moved beyond the work sector and into schools. Specifically, students in one Texas school district are now required to perform a drug testing before they can participate in any extracurricular activities.
The new requirement is for students seventh to twelfth grades beginning this school year. The policy also includes random drug testing during the school year. If consent isn’t given by student and parent, the student won’t be allowed to participate in after school activities.
But the radical policy doesn’t end there. While some might understand drug testing for high-level sports like football or wrestling, the drug testing is for any extracurricular activities, including chess, choir, debate, yearbook, gaming club, and others.
“Great kids make bad decisions every day and what we want to do is make sure that our kids have the opportunity to make mistakes but come back and make amends,” District superintendent Chris Wigington said.
“We want the testing program to deter drug and alcohol use and help students live drug-free lives,” the board of trustees communicated to parents.
The policy has a four-tiered penalty system of various suspensions from competitions, extracurricular activities, and parking ranging from 30 to 365 days.
The response to the new policy was mixed, some showing disdain, some asking questions of drug testing for teachers, and others showing full support.
With the ever-climbing rise in youth drug use, the Texas school might be a trail-blazer in drug prevention. In any case, the school can be commended for their commitment.
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