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"Does it really create an environment of trust or suspicion between students and school officials?" he said. "How do you develop a responsible citizen if you don't respect their integrity and their rights?"
Joe Martin, an attorney with the Alamo based South Texas Civil Rights Project, said drug testing undoubtedly intrudes on privacy and that there are questions as to whether students will focus on evading such testing with methods like binge drinking.
Students who test positive could also be subject to screenings for the rest of the year and would be allowed to practice, but not attend any events or competitions representing the school.
The screenings would affect students in grades seven through 12, and only those who participate in extracurricular activities. Parents, or students age 18 and older, would either sign their consent or forfeit involvement in school activities. Richter said out of an estimated 5,000 in those grades, about 3,500 participate in extracurricular activities. A random 10 percent sampling would mean a pool of 350 students for each screening.
abuse for more than 10 years, but that she wasn't sure why the procedure had never been adopted.
The district estimates a yearly cost ranging from $54,600 to $105,000, depending on how many types of substances are screened for and what method is used. Richter said she wasn't aware of what budgetary measures the board would take to support the costs and that the district has spoken with three firms for quotes.
MISSION An estimated 1,400 Sharyland district students could undergo random drug and alcohol testing each year under a new policy the school board will consider. Monday at Sharyland High School, 1106 N. Shary Road. Meanwhile, research on the issue has shown widely divergent conclusions about the impact it has on substance abuse prevention among students.
When asked if student drug abuse is a recent area of concern for Sharyland officials, she said:
participation in a 40 day drug and alcohol counseling program within the district.
Richter acknowledged that typically students who participate in extracurricular activities are less likely to use drugs. But, she said since most Sharyland students participate in such programs the screenings would be helpful. Department Louis Vuitton Belt Cake For Men
Sharyland did well in the recent accountability ratings released by the state. Richter said both the district's middle schools ranked at the top when compared to demographically similar schools in Texas, while the high school ranked among the top five. Meanwhile, of its 11 campuses, nine received at least one distinction while the high school, a middle school and two elementary schools were awarded all three distinctions.
The district is considering how long to suspend a student from extracurricular activities for a positive drug and alcohol test and whether to also screen students who have a parking pass. Richter said other school districts have increased the price of a student parking pass to help with screening costs. She said Sharyland employees who drive school district vehicles are already subject to random substance screenings.
However, a 2012 study from the Journal of Youth and Adolescence reported the deterrent effect of substance abuse testing may depend more on whether there is a "positive school climate." In a news release, the study researchers warned school officials to ask themselves whether the strategy had been oversold.
Richter said a three week "voluntary admittance" period will also be offered. Students who admit to drug or alcohol use must enter the counseling program, but won't be suspended from activities.
"It will be costly, but I think I don't think, I know that the attitude that the board has taken is if we can save one kid, you can't put a price tag on that," she said.
Richter said the district hopes that if all students know they may be tested, it will give them leverage against peer pressure. Officials also hope to identify students who need help with substance abuse. Among the consequences of a positive drug and alcohol test, some of which are still being determined, is mandatory Gucci Belt Ebay Uk
Currently, there is one drug and alcohol abuse counselor for the district, and The Bridge Program allows first time offenders who come to school under the influence to attend 40 days of counseling, including weekly sessions with their parents, while within in school suspension. Otherwise, Hermes Belt Price For Men being under the influence on campus means mandatory placement in the district's alternative center.
of Education study found students subject to testing reported less substance abuse, but that there were no "spillover effects" on untested students and no effect on future substance use. The same study also found no effect on "perceived consequences of substance abuse" or the proportion of students participating in extracurricular activities or students' attitudes toward school. Department of Education awards grants in support of random drug testing in schools.
If approved by the school board, Sharyland would be the third school district in the Rio Grande Valley after Roma and Lyford to have a random drug testing policy, according to the district. There are also at least 17 other South Texas schools, including in Brooks County, that screen their students for drug use.
Different substances are broken down by the body more quickly. So, while it may be more difficult to screen for alcohol or heroin use after 24 hours (depending on the method used), marijuana might be detected for up to 30 days.
"We're having the public forum so that we can hear from" parents, Superintendent Virginia Richter said. "The board, nor the high school and junior high administration, nor myself the central office administration we don't want to go into this and we don't want to be perceived as going into this as a 'gotcha' kind of thing."
"Yes and no. I don't think that we are different than any other school district down here in that we know we have drugs in the school. Everybody has drugs. The position that the board has taken now is that we know we have them. We acknowledge it, but we're not doing anything about it."
Martin said it's crucial to protect children, but that he questions whether the expense of substance abuse screening is worthwhile.
Richter said the district has considered testing students for substance Gucci Belt Grey
The superintendent said the legality of the testing hinges on extracurricular activities because they are considered a privilege and not a right, unlike access to education.
"Probably, many of the parents in Sharyland have the money that they could take them to outside counseling, but we're getting more and more of a population that can't afford that," the superintendent said.
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