BUSHLAND – Students as young as 12 years old will now be drug tested at Bushland Independent School District in order to be allowed to take part in certain extracurricular activities.
The Board of Trustees with Bushland ISD made the decision to approve the new policy which will require drug screenings for students in grades 7 through 12 in order to participate in activities like football, choir, and chess.
The district hopes to create a place “free from illegal substance abuse and conducive to learning.”
With consent from the students and parents, the school district will take samples of the students’ saliva or urine to determine if substances including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, and opiates are being used.
The test is required for those wanting to be a participant of football, theater, cheerleading, cross country, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, track, power-lifting, chess, band, choir, debate, gaming club, yearbook, and student council.
“This policy and the program that it supports are designated 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. We want the testing program to deter drug and alcohol use and help students live drug-free lives,” said a letter from the BISD board of trustees.
The school district’s superintendent Chris Wiginton was quoted by KVII-TV saying, “The board wants to be proactive,” describing extracurricular activities as “privileges not rights.”
If a student fails a drug screening, it could result in suspension from competitions, extracurricular activities, and parking for anywhere between 30 days and 365 days.
The new policy will be put into place for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
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