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Random Drug Testing at High School extracurricular activities

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http://www.pal-item.com/article/20111225/NEWS01/112250312/School-drug-tests-begin?odyssey=nav|head

CENTERVILLE, Ind. — Centerville Junior and Senior High School students who participate in extracurricular activities or drive to school will be subject to random drug tests at the start of the spring semester.

School officials say they are the only district in the Tri-Eastern Conference without a similar policy.

“Pretty much everywhere you look, drugs are becoming a bigger and bigger issue,” Centerville Sr. High School Assistant Principal Mike McCoy said. “It’s just a way to not only protect the students who are athletes but as well as students that drive back and forth to school. That protects a lot more people.”

The program, effective Jan. 3, assigns students with a unique identification number that will be supplied to a laboratory, which will then randomly generate numbers to test.

Students who test positive for drugs will be subject to a three-tier system of consequences, including:

» Suspensions for up to 50 percent of the current activity or sport season on first offense, with student-drivers losing privileges for 45 school days;

» Suspensions for all activities for one calendar year on second offense with student-drivers losing privileges for 60 days; and

» Ineligibility to participate in any activity at school for the remainder of their career with student-drivers losing privileges for one calendar year.

Senior Ellie Bane says the new policy is being met mostly with enthusiasm.

“I think a lot of people are excited about it, but some people are nervous,” said Bane, who is on the school’s Principal Leadership Council that is charged with educating the student-body about the policy.

“Obviously the people who are doing the bad things are nervous,” she said. “I think everyone wants to get rid of the drugs and stuff at school.”

The Nettle Creek School Corporation, another district in the TEC, has had a similar policy for the last seven years, school officials said.

Samantha Hickman, a guidance counselor at the school, said tests are done at Hagerstown Jr. Sr. High School monthly.

“A computer randomly spits out 10 to 20 numbers a month,” Hickman said.

School officials say all students are encouraged to sign consent forms to submit to the testing so they can participate in extracurricular activities or drive to school.

“A handful of students of students chose not to sign it,” Hickman said. “Other than that, nobody questions it.”

 


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