Unit One moving forward to allow random drug testing
Jun 06, 2012 | 1353 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Random drug testing at Massac County High School is currently in the works and members of Unit One School board meeting got a first glimpse at what the program will involve at the May 21 board meeting.

Massac County High School Principal Jayson Hayes, Parker Windhorst and Coach Kelly Glass discussed the details about the proposed drug testing for all MCHS Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sanctioned extra curricular activities starting next school year.

The three had reviewed many different policies on drug testing and have used the IHSA policy on drug testing as Unit One's model. Massac Unit One School District is the only school in the conference that does not randomly test students involved in extra curricular activities for controlled substances.

School districts in the conference handle drug testing in two ways: either the district assumes full responsibility and administers the tests or districts hire an outside firm to conduct the random testing. Hayes said if the district were to handle the testing in house, the urine test required costs $8 per test.

Hayes, Windhorst and Glass recommended seeking an outside firm to handle the administration of the testing for the first year to get a feel for how the program would work.

Hayes said a Kentucky firm has agreed that for $1000, it will come to the district five random times throughout the school year and test 10 to 12 students each visit, which he said would be about 10 percent of the school population. Students participating in extra curricular activities sanctioned by IHSA would have to sign a consent form, acknowledging they would be subject to the random drug testing. Those extracurricular activities would include all teams that compete against other schools.

Glass told the board it is only May and he has five athletes who are already suspended from playing next year. "It's frustrating to me," he said. "It's a serious, serious problem." He told the board he didn't let a bunch play last year and those same athletes were arrested because of it. Glass said he was lecturing students prior to prom and the same day, two were arrested for underage drinking.

Glass told the board members peer pressure can be very difficult for students and the possibility of being randomly tested for drugs may be able to help some students be able to say no.

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