Local students could soon be submitted for random drug testing - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Local students could soon be submitted for random drug testing

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BECKLEY (WVVA) -- If you have a student who drives to school or participates in extracurricular activities like band or sports, they might be subject to random drug testing next fall.

Wednesday marks the first day of what the Raleigh County Board of Education calls a 30 day comment period for their new drug testing policy.  During this time parents can voice their concerns about the policy.

It would require anyone in sports, other extracurricular activities or anyone who drives a car to school from 6th through 12th grade to sign a form, agreeing to random testing.  Also parents could voluntarily add their students to that list.

The Raleigh County superintendent, Jim Brown, says the board estimates this would cost up to $150,000 annually, but the outcome would be worth it.

"This gives them the opportunity, if they're ever in a situation where someone with peer pressure is trying to get them to [experiment] with alcohol or drugs, it gives them a way to say 'no.'  And we see that as a real positive.  We also see this as a mechanism to really identify students who are doing the right things," says Brown.

According to Brown, a Supreme Court precedent is the reason why all students cannot be tested for drugs randomly.  He says, going to school is a right, but participating in extra-curricular activities and driving to school are privileges.

Students have mixed reactions on the potential new policy.

"I think it's a good idea.  I think it's gonna prevent a lot of drug activity around the area," says Hayley Pioch, a senior at Liberty High School.

"I'd be fine with there being a random drug test," says Michael Stover, also a senior at Liberty, "But with the whole, it's just extra-curricular activities, why not expand it if they're gonna spend that much money on it?"

For more information on the policy, you can visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Raleigh_CSD.  It's policy D.2.11. 

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