Pubdate: Wed, 14 Aug 2002
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Decatur Daily
Author: Bayne Hughes
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


Affects All Participants in 15 Competitive Teams, Activities

All students of Decatur and Austin high schools participating in any of 15
competitive extracurricular activities must undergo initial drug testing and
be subject to random tests throughout the school year.

The Decatur City Board of Education approved a random drug-testing policy
Tuesday. The policy calls for testing high school students involved in
competitive extracurricular activities beginning Oct. 10, including
athletics, band, cheerleading, chorus, JROTC drill team, forensics and math
teams. They will be tested for tobacco, alcohol and 10 different illegal
drugs to start the program.

The testing is expected to cost about $25,000 a year and will be paid for
out of the General Fund.

Superintendent Larry Walters said Supervisor of Safety and Alternative
Education Phil Hastings will oversee implementation of the policy, including
seeking bids from drug-testing companies.

"Our intent is that this policy will be an empowerment tool for the
students," Walters said. "Our intent is to help students rather than to
punish them, and we all know there are a lot of temptations out there."

The policy lays out penalties for drugs and alcohol that stiffen with each
occurrence, but each includes suspension from activities, counseling and
required testing for the remainder of the year. A student pays for any
subsequent tests required because of a positive test.

Penalties are effective during a single school year, unless a student fails
a test within the last eight weeks of the school term.

The remaining time left in the penalty will be served at the start of the
next school term. The student will not participate in off-season workouts.

A student can return with a negative test after the first occurrence, four
straight clean tests after a second occurrence and six straight negative
tests after the third occurrence.

Tests are given 30 days apart.

Participants to be tested

These are the competitive extracurricular activities affected in the Decatur
City Schools' drug testing policy:

All Alabama High School Athletic Association-sanctioned athletic activities,




JROTC Drill Team, Rifle Team and Color Guard


Drama -- Trumbauer competition

Scholars Bowl

Math team

Chess team

Technology team

Future Business Leaders of America*

Future Career and Community Leaders of America*

Foreign Language teams

Southeast Consortium for Minorities in Engineering*

DECA (Association of Marketing Students, formerly known as Distributive
Education Club of America)* Superintendent Larry Walters can add or subtract
activities from the list requiring participation in the policy.

*District/state competitions

State competitions
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