Ada High drug testing policy combats ‘illegal drug use’

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Ada High drug testing policy combats ‘illegal drug use’

Ada High School

Ada High School

Photo: Jamie Weston

Ada High School

Photo: Jamie Weston

Photo: Jamie Weston

Ada High School

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Drug testing at Ada High has become a controversial topic for many of the students. Students debate the necessity and obtrusiveness of the process, some feeling they should have the right to refuse, while other believe that it is justified.

Ada City Schools has a drug testing policy in place to help convey expectations and clear up any potential confusion.

According to Bryan Harwell, Athletic Director, Ada High first started the drug testing in 2004.

The Ada City Drug Testing Policy asserts that there are five main reason for this process.

  • To prevent illegal and/or performance enhancing drug use and to educate students of the serious physical, mental and emotional harm caused by illegal drug use.
  • To alert students with possible substance abuse problems to the potential harms that drug use poses to their physical, mental, and emotional well-being and offer them the privilege of competition as an incentive to stop using such substances.
  • Ensure that students adhere to a training program that bars the intake of illegal and performance-enhancing drugs.
  • To prevent injury, illness, and harm for students that may arise as a result from illegal and performance-enhancing drug use.
  • To offer students practices, competition and school activities free of the effects of illegal and performance-enhancing drug use.

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The testing is done at least once a month and is funded by the Ada City School District. Seven students from each grade are chosen at random, and the test results are usually received in three weeks.

The first time a student’s test results are positive, his or her legal guardians are called, and a meeting is scheduled. The student will be suspended from their respective extracurricular activity for five consecutive school days. To resume participation, the student must show proof that they have received drug counseling. After this, the student must agree to participate in another drug testing within two weeks and two tests within 45 days.

In the same school year, the second positive test will result in extracurricular activity suspension for forty-five consecutive school days and a mandatory, four hour, drug rehabilitation class. The student will then be tested monthly, at random, for the rest of the school year.

The third time a student is tested positive in the same school year, they are suspended from extracurricular activities for 180 consecutive school days.

Rachel Thompson, a senior at Ada High, disagrees with the school’s drug testing policy.

“I think that drug testing is unnecessary unless the person is unable to perform their responsibilities. What happens in someone’s personal life should stay in their personal life,” said Thompson.

Any student who refuses to submit to a drug test, will be banned from any extra-curricular activities for one hundred consecutive school days.

Regardless of students’ feelings about the drug testing policy, the drug testing will continue as outlined.

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