Random drug testing for student athletes

GALENA PARK, TX GPISD Trustees unanimously adopted the policy during the July 14 Board of Trustees meeting. The district was previously notified that it received a Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, said trustees felt that this policy is a proactive measure to help maintain a drug-free environment for all students.

"The use of illegal drugs poses serious health and safety risks to our students," Henry said. "This policy is not intended to be punitive in nature, but it should serve as a deterrent to the use of illegal drugs and to provide students with yet another reason to resist peer pressure."

The policy states that a written parent consent form, including both parent and student signatures, is required before a student is eligible to participate in school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities. Participation in school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities is a privilege and not a right; refusal to consent to random drug testing will result in the denial of participation in the identified extracurricular activity. Participation is defined to include practice, competition, and involvement in events.

Students will be chosen for testing by a computer-generated random selection process conducted by a contracted drug-testing vendor. Any student identified for random testing for a given date but whom, because of illness or any other legitimate reason, leaves school before the test is performed shall be included in the next random screen. Refusal on the part of any student to participate in a scheduled or random test shall be considered as a positive result.

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