Union school officials are calling a random drug testing policy first implemented during the 2012-13 school year a success.
Chris Arand, facilities and athletic director, Wednesday told R-XI School Board members that there were three students who tested positive for drugs last school year, but two of the students failed due to prescription drugs that they were prescribed. They were not removed from extracurricular activity.
The third student was no longer allowed to take part in school activities following the positive test result.
Testing was random and conducted on students who participate in extra- or cocurricular activities, including any contest team or new club developed during the year.
There were between 20-24 students tested each month.
The goal of the policy is to “ensure student health and safety, as well as prevention of possible and drug-related problems.”
Arand said the policy gives kids a reason to say “no.”
“It did what we intended it to do,” Arand said, “for kids to stay clean while in that sport.”
School Board member Teresa Connelly said she is surprised by the results.
“I thought more kids would be asked to leave clubs, ” she said. “That makes me happy.”
Under the testing policy, students who test positive would not be eligible for school activities until they test negative for drugs/alcohol.
Officials said that the policy was implemented because students who are involved in clubs or sports are being dragged down by those who don’t care if they get in trouble.
Those who test positive can be referred to Preferred Family Healthcare or Crider Health Center, both of which already work with students in the district.
Students will only be identified by reference numbers so results will remain confidential and will only be released to the student, their parents or guardians and the administration.
Testing was conducted in school.
Arand provided the board with a year-end report of sports programs, including the number of participants in each sport.
Superintendent Steve Bryant told The Missourian that the coaches not only provided instruction on the field, but off the field too,
“We truly appreciate that these coaches are interested in building leaders as well,” he said.
Following is a breakdown of each sport at UHS, the number of participants and some other information that was provided by Arand:
• Football — 47 participants, 5-5 record, first-year coach Erick Webster;
• Softball — 26 participants, 16-5 record, second place in districts;
• Cross Country — 22 participants
• Volleyball — 27 participants, 14-11-2 record, first season over .550 in many years;
• Boys soccer — 28 participants, 12-10 record, conference champs;
• Boys basketball — 28 participants, 5-18 record, first-year coach Christopher Simmons;
• Girls basketball — 31 participants, 16-8 record;
• Wrestling — 26 participants, second place in conference, five wrestlers advance to state, Dalton Kuenzel placed third in state.
• Baseball — 34 participants, 6-9 record, several rainouts;
• Golf — 12 participants, one sectional qualifier;
• Girls soccer, 34 participants, 15-5 record, ninth consecutive year as conference champs, district champs, Bethany Coons first team all state, Alyssa Coons second team all state, and Alicia Brueggemann honorable mention all state;
• Boys track — 39 participants, five state qualifiers;
• Girls track — 27 participants, 10 state qualifiers, conference and district champs, fifth place in state.