Board approves random drug testing for welding students
by Shane Ersland
Aug 12, 2014 | 1013 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PORTLAND - Gregory-Portland ISD school board members approved revisions to the district’s drug testing program during a special meeting July 31.

The changes were made to align the district’s new Del Mar College dual credit welding program with industry standards, as well as other extracurricular activities. The district policy was amended to include specified technical courses — which will include the welding program — in the district’s mandatory drug and alcohol testing program. Testing will be required upon course enrollment, and random testing will be done throughout the year to maintain enrollment.

The district requires participation in random drug and alcohol testing for any student in grades 9-12 who chooses to participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities.

“We don’t random test every student, just those involved in extracurricular activities,” board President Randy Eulenfeld said.

An offending student’s parents will be notified of positive test results.

After a student’s first violation of the policy, the student will be suspended from any extracurricular activity for the 10 school days immediately following the date the student and their parent were notified of the test results. The student must attend a district-approved chemical abuse program, and perform six hours of community service.

“Our intent is to try to correct (students), fix them and get them back into the program,” Gregory-Portland High School Principal Barbara Cade said.

Board member Becky Macha asked if Del Mar was comfortable with offending students remaining in the program after serving their suspensions.

“They are,” Cade said. “There will be a lot of counseling. Parents will be made aware that they are supposed to be drug free.”

The district will no longer offer orientation for random drug testing, however.

“When we first brought random drug testing to the district, those meetings were extremely important,” Cade said. “Now, the community understands the drug testing, so there’s no need to hold formal orientation meetings. So, we removed it from the policy.”

After a student’s second violation of the policy, they will be suspended from any extracurricular activities for one calendar year following the date the student and parent are notified of the test results.
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