Pubdate: Wed, 10 Jul 2002
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Decatur Daily
Author: Bayne Hughes


Committee Ignores High Court Ruling

Decatur City Schools' drug test committee recommended Tuesday that proposed 
random tests not be expanded to include students participating in all 
extracurricular activities.

The committee ignored the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision that allows 
inclusion of all after-school activities, choosing rather to focus on just 
"competitive" extracurricular activities like athletics, band, JROTC and 
debate team.

"We felt we had to start somewhere," Decatur High School head football 
coach Jere Adcock said at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

"We wanted to focus on the safety aspect, and these are competitive 
activities in which students have to travel. A coach or sponsor will know 
he has a good group of students traveling with him."

Adcock acknowledged the committee could have followed the high court's 
decision but chose to start small and part of the reason is financial.

Superintendent Larry Walters estimated the cost at between $20,000 and 
$25,000, but he is unsure of the exact costs. He said how much the program 
costs will depend on how extensive the tests will be and which drugs are 

"We can go further if need be," Adcock said. "Most school systems are 
testing just athletics, so we feel like we're expanding on what most 
already try to do."

The committee, which met Monday to review the Supreme Court decision and 
comments from two public hearings, suggested the random tests include 
testing for tobacco, including cigarettes, cigar and smokeless tobacco.
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