Texas school district to require drug testing for students

Students in grades 7-12 subject to testing

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AMARILLO, Texas – Bushland Independent School District has updated its policy for drug testing and will now require students in grades 7-12 to get drug tested before participating in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

Students seeking a parking permit will also be drug tested, according to the new school policy.

Participation in football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, wrestling, golf, track, power-lifting, cheerleading, band, choir, theater, UIL Academics, student council, lead council, FCCLA, robotics, VASE, speech and debate, FFA, chess, Ace Club, United Way Youth Council, gaming club, yearbook, Falcon Friends and 4H will require drug testing, according to the policy.

Students will be tested for illegal drugs and the presence of alcohol at the beginning of each school year or before joining an extracurricular program in the middle of the school year.

“There isn’t an apparent drug problem,” Watson acknowledged, “but that isn’t to say that kids across the nation are not being introduced to drugs and getting into drugs. We’re just trying to be proactive. We’re giving them a reason to not do that," the Associated Press reported.

According to the policy, students will also be randomly drug tested throughout the academic year.

Students will be required to sign a consent form agreeing to the rules of the program, unless the student is younger than 18 years old, in which case a parent or guardian would be required to sign.

"Positive drug test results will not be used to impose disciplinary sanctions or academic penalties," according to policy rules.

The results of drug tests will be disclosed to the student, student's parents and designated officials with Bushland ISD.

The school district noted that students will be tested for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methampetamines, heroin and opiates.

Urine and saliva were both listed on the district's drug testing policy as possible examples of collection.

Read the full policy here.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.