There will be a public discussion Tuesday night to address patrons’ concerns of a Union High School proposed random student drug testing policy.
The hearing will be in the UHS Fine Arts Center from 6-7 p.m.
The policy has been in the development phase for several months and was first presented publicly at the July school board meeting.
School board member Kate Jones said the policy is “invasive” and some students may not take part in after-school activities because they would be “scared of the consequences.”
Testing would be random and conducted on students who participate in extra- or cocurricular activities.
The goal of the policy is to “ensure student health and safety, as well as prevention of possible and drug-related problems,” the draft statement of intent says. Testing pertains to any and all extra- and cocurricular activities including any contest team or new club developed during the year.
Chris Arand, Union High School assistant principal and high school athletic director, said the policy will “give kids a reason to say no.”
Students who test positive would not be eligible for school activities until they test negative for drugs/alcohol.
During last month’s meeting, Arand said some 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.
Guidelines for first, second, third and fourth offenses will be outlined in the policy.
Regular policies already are in place for if a student attends school under the influence or possesses drugs or alcohol on the school grounds.