Students as young as 12 to be tested for drug use every 10 days as Texas school district tries to 'stay ahead of the curve'
The routine drug testing will reportedly be conducted by certified contractors, with a particular focus on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, heroin and opiates
POTTER COUNTY, TEXAS: Students as young as 12-years-old are set to be subjected to drug tests under a new policy implemented by a Texas School District this year.
The Bushland Independent School District's Board of Trustees in Potter County have reportedly reached the decision that all students between grades 7 and 12 will be required to take drug tests if they want to participate in certain extracurricular activities at the institution.
Despite the drastic decision taken by the administration, Superintendent Chris Wigington has insisted that the school district does not have a drug problem, and that the tests are to be implemented in an effort to stay ahead of the curve.
Reports state that the district, before deciding on the program, deliberated on it for nearly a year.
"We’ve discussed drug testing policy for about a year now and the board wants to be proactive. They want our kids to have a drug free environment, we want our kids to make great decisions," Wigington told ABC 7.
The students will reportedly receive random drug tests around every 10 academic school days throughout the year.
Under the new policy, students will be required to partake in mandated drug tests if they want to participate in varied school activities, including football, gaming club, and yearbook.
Reports state that drug test will be a prerequisite for students applying for on-campus parking permits, according to the Daily Mail.
The routine drug testing will reportedly be conducted by certified contractors, with a particular focus on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, heroin and opiates.
The students who test positive for any of these drugs will be suspended from extracurricular activities, competitions, and parking for a maximum of 365 days. However, they will not face academic repercussions.
"These are extracurricular activities, they’re privileges, not rights,” Wigington said. "We don’t want to hurt a student academically, we don’t want to suspend them from school for testing positive for a drug."
Reports state that student confidentiality will be a major component of the new policy as only the student, student's parents, and designated district officials will be informed of any positive results.
The Bushland Independent School District, in its notice, said that the policy is not meant to enact punishments on students but to eliminate any potential threat to the student's health.
"This policy and the program that it supports are designed not for punitive measures, but to eliminate the potential threat to the student’s health and safety that can occur if students are using or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs," the school notice stated.
"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. I guess that’s a way to put that," Wigington added.