It is more common to hear of drug testing in the workplace versus in schools. School districts in Texas are battling with the idea of whether to test kids for drugs and the process needed to go about doing this. A major question is whether this will apply to both middle and high schools.
While some school districts may not have a drug problem, getting ahead of the possible issue is a good step. It is very common for kids today to have access to drugs, whether that is buying, selling or sharing.
District superintendents did note they’re aware that a kid using drugs may not be entirely because of their home life. They’re refraining from blaming families and focusing on how they can assist these kids to help further their academic careers.
School officials plan to develop a safe and drug-free environment for their students. They’ll do this by incorporating drug tests for student athletes and students involved in other extracurricular activities. In some areas, even middle school students need to comply with drug testing regulations if they want to be a part of student council, band, play chess, etc. Schools are testing for drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, heroin and opioid, among many others.
Schools will require students to give saliva swabs or urine samples. School districts, such as: Temple, Belton and Killeen, have already come up with strategies and punishments for drug test violations.
While each district has their own punishment guidelines, they all revolve around:
· First offense: suspension for a few weeks from extracurricular activities
· Second offense: suspension for a month or the rest of the academic year
· Third offense: can no longer participate in activities in that school district
All three districts listed that each offense comes with mandatory counseling and drug testing throughout the school year.
School districts are trying their best to dissuade middle and high school students from using drugs. They’re hoping that the incentive to participate in extracurricular activities, along with continued drug counseling throughout the school year, will serve as preventive or early interventional methods.