LCISD implements random drug testing policy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/12/10

LCISD implements random drug testing policy

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By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Beginning this fall, random drug tests will be given to Lubbock-Cooper students from 7th to 12th grades involved in extracurricular activities. If a student is on the math team, the football team, or even the band, they will be tested.

Student athletes like Beka Brown think the decision was long overdue. "It's a good thing, I thought it needed to happen a lot sooner."

Deputy Superintendent Thom Vines and his staff want to make sure the students are making smart decisions and keeping safe. "These kids in our extracurricular activities represent our school and the board decided that these kids better be drug free," Vines said.

The first offense means suspension from the activity for a week and counseling. If a student is caught a second time, they will be suspended from the activity for a year. A third offense will ban the student from participation. "The real hammer, so to speak, comes that second time. You know they can't say it was a random mistake or something like that," said Vines.

Brown says it's not fair that students using drugs be on any kind of team. "There's plenty of people that get cut that don't do drugs that would love to be on the team, instead of people who do drugs and get caught and stay on the team."

Brown is also glad to see the tests apply to all extracurricular activities, not just sports. "A lot of people say that it's just athletes that do drugs and everything, but its a lot of people," she said.

Vines thinks that this will make students think twice, and wants to send a message. "Participating in extracurricular activities is a privilege not a right," said Vines. He also thinks this will give students an out if they feel pressured. "If they are at a party for instance, and somebody says 'let's smoke some marijuana' the kid could say, 'I can't, I could get tested next week.'"

Each student will be tested at least twice, and Vines anticipates giving around 3,000 tests. They cost about $10, but will be paid for by the district. "We want these kids to be safe and we think the drug policy helps them do that," said Vines.

This new drug testing policy will be fully explained to parents and students prior to the beginning of the school-sponsored extracurricular activity in which the students are to participate.

The LCISD Board of Trustees is implementing this policy for two primary reasons:

  • For the safety of students participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities
  • To assist students in saying "No" to drugs.

LCISD IMPLEMENTS RANDOM DRUG TESTING POLICY FOR STUDENTS IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

At a Special Called meeting on August 2, the Lubbock-Cooper ISD Board of Trustees adopted a drug-testing policy for students in grades 7 - 12 who participate in school sponsored  extracurricular activities.

Listed below are the relevant details of this new policy:

  • Rationale for Drug Testing Policy – The Lubbock-Cooper ISD Board of Trustees is implementing this drug testing policy for the following reasons:
    1. To detect and prevent illegal drug use on the part of students participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.
    2. To provide students who participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities an additional reason to resist peer pressure to use alcohol and illegal drugs.
    3. To establish and maintain a healthier and safer environment for LCISD students who participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.
  • Frequency of Testing – Students will be tested a minimum of one time during their extracurricular activity's "season," and they will also be subject to additional random testing throughout the school year. All students will be tested a minimum of two times per school year.
  • Notice to Parents and Students – This new drug testing policy will be fully explained to parents and students prior to the beginning of the extracurricular activity in which the students are to participate.
  • Disciplinary Sanctions for "Positive" Test – 
    o First positive test result – The participant shall be suspended from performing in competition and other organized activities for a predetermined period of time. The student will also be required to satisfactorily complete a drug counseling program as directed by the District.
    o Second positive test result – The participant is removed from extracurricular activities for a calendar year.
    o Third positive test result – The participant is permanently removed from extracurricular activities.
  • Testing results are cumulative, beginning in grade 7 and running through grade 12.
  • Confidentiality – Test results shall be kept confidential and disclosed only to the student, his or her parents/guardians, and school officials designated by the Superintendent.
  • This policy is effective with the current school year.

For more information contact JoEllen Henderson, Director of Public Information.

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