NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – Students at East Allen County Schools will begin getting drug tested this upcoming school year. Students facing a random drug test includes those who play on sports teams, participate in extracurricular activities or drive to school.
The East Allen County Schools board approved the measure Tuesday night at it’s regular board meeting with a 5-2 vote. Board members Paullette Nellums and Arden Hoffman voted against it.
District leaders have said they hope students will get the message that tobacco use, alcohol and drugs are not condoned. They hope this will help with short and long-term drug abuse, while giving students another reason not to give in to peer pressure.
The idea of drug testing students in the district was initially brought up by principals and athletic directors who said they thought it was something that needed addressed.
Students who fail the drug test would be suspended from extracurricular activities and driving to school for a third of the year. On second offense, students would be suspended of those privileges for half-year and a year for third offense. For the fourth offense, it would be high school career-long suspension.
Superintendent Ken Folks has said that the district can’t compel all students to submit to random drug testing because student and a parent signature are required. However, if students don’t sign, they can’t participate in extracurricular activities or drive to school.
The screenings will be done by Parkview Health, which will administer an oral swab. Students will pay a nominal fee to cover the costs of the screenings. Students who participate in multiple after school activities will only have to pay the fee one time.
Students who participate in multiple activities are also just as likely to have their name randomly selected as a student who only particiates in one activity that meets the drug-testing criteria.