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Officials consider random drug testing for high school students

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   April 3, 2013 at 8:56 AM
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High school students who participate in extracurricular activities, including sports, may be subjected to random drug testing, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Administrators, coaches, parents and students reviewed the co-curricular code for two Naperville high schools in the suburbs of Chicago. Naperville North Athletic Director Jim Konrad said there have been 30 violations of the code at his school just this year, of which 24 were marijuana-related.

"Marijuana is rampant in the schools. If there's anything we can do to assist parents and assist the kids to say no, I think it's a positive thing," Konrad said.

Board member Terry Fielden asked whether students would be turned over to police if they were caught with drugs in their systems. "I don't think I could support anything other than giving them help and trying to get them some benefit from it as opposed to some other action," he said.

Konrad said the code currently calls for students to be referred to a drug and alcohol counselor in addition to being suspended from extracurricular activities. Officials said they have not discussed whether there would be legal action taken against students in violation.

Some parents think the code should be entirely scrapped, but others say they like being able to remind their children their actions have consequences.

School board President Mike Jaensch said that drug testing should be "a tool for the parent first and foremost with our support."

Officials plan to research legal and privacy issues as well as the costs associated with random drug testing before continuing the discussion at a school board meeting this summer.

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