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CSISD drug testing policy

ZFG
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On the agenda for tomorrow is discussion & possible action related to the district implementing a policy regarding drug testing for high school students. Does anyone know what is driving this?

Is there a drug problem in our schools?

Is this a standard thing for high schools to do?

Is this a preventative measure?

Just trying to understand and stay informed on what is going on in the district...

Koko Chingo
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AG
I say teachers and administrators first or leave it alone. I do not think anyone is shocked to find out high school kids do drugs. I don't really think it's a deterrent for a high school student either.
CS78
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Hell no! If I want my child drug tested, I'll do it.
Stupe
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S
I'm fine with it for students in extracurricular activities.

However, teachers need to be held just as accountable.
nought
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Koko Chingo said:

I say teachers and administrators first or leave it alone. I do not think anyone is shocked to find out high school kids do drugs. I don't really think it's a deterrent for a high school student either.


Board members first. Then administrators and teachers.

Kids shouldn't have to go through this to prove they are innocent of something, even before participating in extracurricular activities.

So if I take my kid to some concert down at the Woodlands, and someone in front of us tokes up and my kid gets a big whiff of it, and they randomly do a test the next day, he's getting kicked out of tennis/football/baseball?

Sorry, I do not want the school taking samples of my child's hair, urine, or anything else.

More government overreach.
OnlyANobody
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And just imagine all the kids who take any of several ADHD meds testing positive for amphetamine, and some moron who doesn't know the difference, rumoring that they're on methamphetamine.
AggieMom_38
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There was a presentation about it at one (two?) of the prior meetings (I saw it online so it's probably still there - I can't recall which one - February or March meeting?). I recall the "rationale" was determent as well as believing that if there is a policy it will allow the kids that may otherwise feel peer pressure to have an excuse to say "no, I don't want to do drugs because I don't want to risk getting in trouble." I have no idea whether there is evidence that such drug policies work like that (hopefully the administration and board is doing their homework on this). I also recall it not being cheap. Some of the cost info was presented at the meeting too.
DBSwooper
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AggieMom_38 said:

There was a presentation about it at one (two?) of the prior meetings (I saw it online so it's probably still there - I can't recall which one - February or March meeting?). I recall the "rationale" was determent as well as believing that if there is a policy it will allow the kids that may otherwise feel peer pressure to have an excuse to say "no, I don't want to do drugs because I don't want to risk getting in trouble." I have no idea whether there is evidence that such drug policies work like that (hopefully the administration and board is doing their homework on this). I also recall it not being cheap. Some of the cost info was presented at the meeting too.
A significant amount of the drug abuse that occur at our public schools are prescription medications. Xanex and Adderall being some of the more popular. I'm not sure how they would be able to test and show abuse for that without getting into HIPPA territory.

I've seen voluntary programs with rewards work OK in schools, but a mandated program such as this would be a colossal waste of money and resources that could be directed towards making the lives of our teachers better!
gibby03
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AG
Drug testing for students who drive to and from school and participate in extracurricular activities is a good thing. It is a good deterrent for students to have the excuse of "I can't because...." The positives way outweigh the negatives on this in my opinion.
Oogway
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Big problem with vaping going on according to my kiddos. One of mine tried to scare another student straight by warning him about the exploding vape pen in the pocket accidents.
1.618
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First of all, to be an effective deterrent, they would have to test sufficiently high numbers of kids that the kids felt there was a reasonable chance that they themselves would be selected for testing. The cost would depend on the number of drugs they are testing for. A 5 panel urine test runs about $60 if processed in a lab. I'm sure there are bulk discounts but then you have to contract to run a huge number of tests. If you test 200 high schoolers it will cost about $10,000+. Then, you have to retest the positive ones. Then, you have to decide what to do about those that come back positive twice. Re-test? Report to authorities? Suspend from school? Mandatory counseling? Drug treatment? Let's just assume that whatever you choose to do, it will cost money. Who pays? Who is responsible for this new found information?

To implement something like this, it seems that the cost of the testing might be minor compared to the cost of implementing, monitoring and disciplinary action. Imagine the paperwork. They would almost surely have to hire someone to manage such a program. Is that the best use of funds for a district that is given the mandate of educating kids?

Disclaimer: We once had what we call the "Poppy Seed Bagel Incident" at our house. Consumption of poppy seed bagels for breakfast every day for 5-6 days caused a member of my family to test positive for drugs at work. It was a shock to us but the workplace had terrific protocols in place to manage it because they tested everyone all the time. We were assured that false positives happened sometimes. It took some time to complete historical food diaries and paperwork along with additional testing to clear up the results. It also helped us that there was a long history of routine drug testing that came back normal, so no stigma was attached to the incident. I question whether any school district would be able to implement such a comprehensive testing program as this workplace --- and if they did, how much it would cost.
Sweet Kitten Feet
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S
Without cause or suspicion I think that's an illegal search. And if the school has reason to suspect my child of anything they should be informing me. Participating in UIL activities is different though.
Wildmen03
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AG
Legalize weed and THC, then drug test for everything else.
techno-ag
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AG
gibby03 said:

Drug testing for students who drive to and from school and participate in extracurricular activities is a good thing. It is a good deterrent for students to have the excuse of "I can't because...." The positives way outweigh the negatives on this in my opinion.
I see it like this, just like having guns in schools helps prevent school shootings.
techno-ag
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Oogway said:

Big problem with vaping going on according to my kiddos. One of mine tried to scare another student straight by warning him about the exploding vape pen in the pocket accidents.
Yup. The Juul ecig is big in schools. Looks like a computer jump drive. Minimal smell. Take a quick toke or two in the restroom for a nicotine fix.
1.618
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Vaping may be a big problem, but is it a problem that we want the schools to address by random drug testing?
Oogway
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No, not necessarily.
DallasAg01
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AG
They are vaping with THC oils now
oklaunion
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They did this at Consol about 12 years or so ago when Jim was AD. I went to a meeting after it was rumored to be about performance enhancing drug testing and it turned out to be about recreational drugs. When it was brought up at the meeting, by a parent, that they should include performance enhancers, coaches in the meeting all came out of their collective seats and nixed that discussion quickly.
I am pretty sure they implemented the recreational testing for those in extracurricular activities but dropped it after a couple of years due to extremely low positives and a pretty hefty outlay of cash.
My opinion is that can utilize our tax money in a better way.
1.618
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So a kid vapes THC or they snack on a bunch of Strong and Kind Bars and the drug test comes back positive. What is CSISD going to do now? And how much is it going to cost me? Yes, I could toss the Strong and Kind Bars but my kids and I like them.
techno-ag
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1.618 said:

So a kid vapes THC or they snack on a bunch of Strong and Kind Bars and the drug test comes back positive. What is CSISD going to do now? And how much is it going to cost me? Yes, I could toss the Strong and Kind Bars but my kids and I like them.
What happens is, the kid is banned from UIL and/or banned from parking on campus. They face the music and pay the consequences for their actions.
emtes
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AG
What about diluted samples? Asking for a friend.
gibby03
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1.618 said:

So a kid vapes THC or they snack on a bunch of Strong and Kind Bars and the drug test comes back positive. What is CSISD going to do now? And how much is it going to cost me? Yes, I could toss the Strong and Kind Bars but my kids and I like them.
Normal guidelines I have seen in other school districts regardless of extra curricular or driving. Positive tests can be "reviewed" if an error is believed to be made.

Usually, these tests only screen for a few things anyway, like marijuana or cocaine, tobacco, performance enhancement drugs etc. And, on top of that there are limits in which they can fall and no action will be taken. You mentioned a concert where someone is smoking marijuana and it showing up in your kid's system. That's not going to show a positive test.

It's not like, oh he tested for a small amount of tobacco, he's suspended, that's not completely accurate. A lot of schools don't bother with tobacco because their thought is, a suspension for snuff shouldn't be the same as a suspension for cocaine, I tend to agree there. A lot of districts won't test for steroids, it's too expensive. These drug tests are done on drug class basis, looking for barbiturate or amphetamines etc.

In terms of prescription drugs, if a student has a prescription on file from a doctor, that test is automatically posted as a negative. So let's say little Johnny has ADHD and takes medicine, the school nurse has the documentation, test comes back as a negative on his case. But let's just say little Jonny is giving his aderall to Susie, she gets popped with a positive test and doesn't have a prescription, it's a positive test.

1st Offense - Suspension from activity for 10-15 days. No driving a vehicle or participating in a UIL event.
2nd Offense - Suspension from activity for extended period of time. That varies but could include 1 to 6 month's suspension from UIL activities and/or driving. Counseling offered to student by a licensed drug counselor and must complete protocol to return.
3rd Offense - Suspension from activity for 1 calendar year. No UIL, no driving to campus. Continued counseling.
4th Offense - Suspension for remainder of high school.

EDIT: When a student is positive they automatically go back into the pool for the next one for a period of time, if they pass during that time they are removed from the list. if not, that's how you get the consecutive positive tests.

So how much does it cost you? The only thing I can think of is the cost of students going to rehab. However, some school districts do it like this for example. Johnny has a 1 month suspension from athletics, school recommends counseling, there is no obligation to do it so Johnny sits out his 1 month. Or, he can go to counseling, complete the requirements and his 1 month suspension is reduced to 2 weeks. So, while it's recommended there can be a way where there is still zero cost to the parent.

These are all just examples, but nothing in there is a "we got you" type of situation it's mean't to be a deterrent that's all. It's the school districts way of being proactive in keeping students healthy and the school environment safe. Don't let yourself be fooled, there are "drugs" in CSISD and BISD and every small town in America. How rampant it is depends on the school but it's there and I can applaud CSISD in trying to be proactive. Also, if some feel as though it's an invasion of their child's privacy, A. don't let them do drugs and be aware of their habits or B. don't let them do extracurriculars or drive and they won't have to worry about the drug testing.

By the way, this isn't directed AT YOU but overall to anyone asking about it. Your's is just the person I quoted.
1.618
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Thanks, Gibby.

I have nieces and nephews in a Texas school district that does random drug tests. I'm not going to out them but they have some interesting stories. Some might be inaccurate, but at least two times in the last 6 years, there has been a problem that made it to school board level. Several heated meetings. Lawyers had to get involved both on the side of the student and on behalf of the school board. Last I heard, the whole deal was pushing $20,000 in legal bills for one of the situations. Maybe it was an anomaly. It was handled badly by the board/administration but that happens sometimes. I guess if there are enough cases, the administrators get better at it over time.

I will say that Manor ISD implemented a drug testing program and projected to spend $25,000-30,000 per year. From what I read, they had 20 positives, all marijuana. I think that is a waste of money. Just my opinion.

http://www.kxan.com/news/education/manor-isd-rolling-out-random-student-drug-testing_20180316011807567/1049578688
nought
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gibby03 said:

Drug testing for students who drive to and from school and participate in extracurricular activities is a good thing. It is a good deterrent for students to have the excuse of "I can't because...." The positives way outweigh the negatives on this in my opinion.
If the excuse of "I can't because my parents are going to kill me" isn't enough, then THAT is the problem right there.

In general, the kids participating in extracurricular activities aren't the ones we all need to worry the most about. They tend to have active, participating, present parents. There are exceptions to everything of course.

Perhaps the school can also start drawing blood and making sure the kids are receiving a balanced diet. And, send home sleep sensors to make sure the school isn't overloading them with homework and that they are getting their 8 hours of sleep a night. Also, the school should install internet-monitoring software on all electronic devices the kids have access too, just to make sure they're not visiting any impure sites or anything like that.
KaneIsAble
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AG
There are drugs on campus; you can be assured of that and prescription pill consumption would lead the pack.

I took drug tests in high school (late 90s) to be qualified for anything extracurricular and I promise you it worked and curbed the usage. No one was kicked out of school but there was a mandatory suspension of the activities you were involved with.

If you wanted to play baseball - stop smoking weed. If you wanted to sing in the choir - stop smoking week. If you were into FFA - stop smoking week.

See a trend?
nought
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gibby03 said:



In terms of prescription drugs, if a student has a prescription on file from a doctor, that test is automatically posted as a negative. So let's say little Johnny has ADHD and takes medicine, the school nurse has the documentation, test comes back as a negative on his case. But let's just say little Jonny is giving his aderall to Susie, she gets popped with a positive test and doesn't have a prescription, it's a positive test.


Sorry, but it is zero, and I mean zero, business of the school what medical treatment my child might be undergoing. They shouldn't have to prove innocence by revealing their medical condition or treatment thereof. I understand that if medication needs to be administered at school that the nurse must know about it, but beyond that, the school has no business being involved in the medical concerns of my child.
MTTANK
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AG
I could see results like Manor had being the norm. Weed is pretty common, and even legal in some places. As far as high school students, I would not want mine smoking weed by any means. But I would say weed is not very problematic overall. When I was in high school the ones that smoked weed generally stayed out of trouble. Alcohol seemed to be what was dangerous. Our school had a couple die in car accidents involving under age drinking. If we have all of the sudden freed up a bunch of walking around money (tax payer dollars) from our impressive rezoning mandate, I would say we maybe give it to our hard working teachers. If the board is against that, maybe use it on programs for our students that actually need help?
ZFG
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If the excuse of "I can't because my parents are going to kill me" isn't enough, then THAT is the problem right there.

^^^^^ THIS!!!
gibby03
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ZFG said:

If the excuse of "I can't because my parents are going to kill me" isn't enough, then THAT is the problem right there.

^^^^^ THIS!!!

Agreed 100%. The question then becomes, because there are many parents who don't have that pull, how do you protect your child from that parent's child who drives to school drunk or high on meth or marijuana and decides to pull into school one morning driving crazy and hits your child or hits the bus as your child is exiting? It's easy to say, "I'll take care of mine" but it's not as easy to "take care of theirs".

There are things we can't control and kids who aren't being controlled. I don't have a problem with my kid being tested because I am much like you, "they know better". But I don't know about the kid from a one parent household holding down two jobs to pay the rent and what their child is doing at school because the mother is doing the best they can but can't "take care of theirs". My kid won't fail so it doesn't bother me is one way to look at it as well.

I am just trying to contribute to the conversation, not calling anyone specifically out by this, like every other thing out there this isn't black and white.
MTTANK
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AG
I have gone a couple of rounds with you on some other threads gibby, but you make some good points. I think the bigger problem you would want to catch is alcohol use. Unlike most illegal drugs, alcohol does not have much of a half life. In other words, you could test all day but it would need to be very close to when the student last drank alcohol. You could put breathalyzer systems in all students cars and maybe curb the risk that way. I know that's even more ridiculous than making all students take drug tests, but it would probably work the best. I would imagine control of students cell phones in this day in age would keep our kids the most safe. There is a huge amount of students killed in accidents because of texting and driving. I really think the school board is trying to get rid of a "demographic" they don't want at their schools, instead of really trying to help students in need. It does come down to parenting in most cases, and I am with you in not being worried about my child.
Oogway
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The posters who have mentioned some of the prescription drugs as a problem are correct, so are the posters who mentioned alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco. They are all present among the student populations at both award-winning high schools.

I would rather the District not test students, but I am not sure that is an issue I really want to tackle with them.

Anyone who thinks this is limited to a particular demographic might want to rethink that line of thought. The type of abuse and who uses what may vary for a variety of reasons, but today's students feel pressure from a lot of different directions and it isn't just their peer group. Parents can place enormous competitive expectations on their children who sometimes seek an edge (speed) or an escape in a desperate hope to measure up or get away from the anxiety.

I like to spend time with my kiddos and listen to them. I like to spend time with kiddos who maybe don't have someone to listen to them. Teens have so many things pinging at them all the time, it is hard for them to take a minute and turn off the noise but it sure is nice to savor the moment of someone hearing what you have to say.
MTTANK
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AG
Good points as always Oogway. I think I am a little over paranoid with demographics after the recent events. Its a fooled me once, shame on you situation on my end. I agree with you, and would rather they not spend our tax dollars on drug testing. Maybe spend it on a program built around those that need some extra attention like you talk about, the quiet ones.
TaterTot_09
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Maybe for extracurricular activities but even that I'm on the fence about. I definitely don't think it will deter most kids from making bad choices at all. It just makes me wonder what their intentions are with this. If they are going to drug test then I think they should be prepared to provide some sort of rehab services($$$) rather than just punishing them and sending them on their way. I agree that they should start with leadership and let them set an example for their students. They won't do that though, wouldn't want any hypocrites on the payroll.
Oogway
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I have to admit I'm a little curious about what is driving this at the moment. Drugs and alcohol have been in the schools for a while (even oldsters like me remember drug dogs) so has there been an uptick in #s? Deciding to act in loco parentis for students who need some attention and help? What is propelling this concern at this juncture?

Edit to clarify: concern by the District, Administration, Board.
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