BEATRICE – An Assistant Principal and School Resource Officer are urging the Beatrice Board of Education to institute a random drug testing policy for students in sports and other activities. If approved, the district would join several other school districts in Nebraska with such policies.
:14 “were all positive”
Assistant Principal and former head football coach Bob Sexton and School Resource Officer Zach Lauenstein brought the issue before the district 15 board, Monday night.
Districts are not allowed by law to random drug test the entire student body. Sexton says an optional program has been considered for several years, following a survey about drug use and conversations with coaches from other districts.
:31 “using marijuana”
One issue is how to administer the program. Sexton and Lauenstein recommend having an outside company conduct the testing. A school nurse could conduct the sampling.
Sexton says random drug testing is not intended to punish students, but to prevent drug use.
:25 “early intervention”
Some members of the Beatrice School Board favor testing for drugs, alcohol and performance-enhancing substances. The random testing program could also be offered to non-activity participant students through parent approval. Resource Officer Lauenstein says the program would have parental input.
:17 “one weekend”
Sexton says as a former head football coach, he encountered many situations where student drug use may have been going on.
:33 “from using”
The past year, over 66% of the Beatrice High School student body participated in sports or other activities. Cost to the district will be one factor in how extensive a random testing program becomes. Other schools budget roughly between $1,000 to $10,000. Sexton estimates each test runs from $25 to $30. He says most schools randomly test about 25-percent of the activity participant population.