Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2003
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Decatur Daily
Author: Deangelo McDaniel, Daily Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


HARTSELLE - The Hartselle Board of Education may drug test fewer
students who participate in extracurricular activities.

"We are considering two options, and one of them will test less
students," said Board Chairman Ronnie Abercrombie.

Option one involves baseline testing of every student participating in
an extracurricular activity and randomly testing 5 percent of the
students per month.

The second option that involves fewer students would baseline test
students who have not been tested and randomly test 7 percent of the
students per month.

Hartselle tested 867 high school students last year and six tested
positive for marijuana. Eleven more students tested positive for tobacco.

"That's too many," Abercrombie said.

The board tested 419 junior high students and there were no positive
tests. Abercrombie said the board will expand the list of banned
substances Hartselle is testing to include OxyContin.

Abercrombie said he has talked with medical professionals and they
told him the No. 1 drug among teenagers is OxyContin.

The board wants to make another significant change to assure that at
least some students in every activity are tested each month.

Superintendent Lee Hartsell said in June that coaches and sponsors
requested this change because some activities went as long as three
months without having a student tested.

Hartselle instituted its drug-testing program almost a year ago for
students who participated in extracurricular activities.

The board appointed a committee to look at a drug-testing program
after two baseball players apparently fainted in school and one of the
players tested positive for marijuana.

The program Hartselle adopted is one of the most extensive in the
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