Manor ISD could soon randomly drug test students

The Manor Independent School District is one step closer to random drug testing students.

The school board approved the program Wednesday at a special meeting.

Manor ISD Superintendent Kevin Brackmeyer says they aren't putting the program in place because there's an existing problem, he says it's to prevent one.

"It's really about creating a culture of accountability where students make the right choices," he said.

Brackmeyer says it's a privilege to play a sport or be in a club. He adds while this program is voluntary; if you don't consent to it, you can't participate.

The new program would start in the fall. It would require 7th through 12th grade students who participate in sports and other extra-curricular school activities to submit to random drug testing. The list of activities range from school sports to robotics.

"People here don't even like to get caught stealing a pencil so having a drug test isn't going to make any body feel better," says Manor New Tech Senior Osvaldo Castro. He says he's happy he won't be here to see the new plan implemented.

"A lot of people sign up for robotics so I feel like it's going to have a negative feeling to go into robotics," he said.

Parents and students are at odds over how great of an idea this really is.

Junior Sandra Grimaldo is rethinking whether or not she'll participate in student council next year. That's one of the groups who will be tested.

"I think it's a good thing for athletes because I feel like they should be tested but i don't think they should be tested for extra curricular activities," she said.

If a student does test positive, legally they can't be expelled or suspended, but they will get punished.

Here's how it breaks down:
  • The first time: they tell your parents and you can't participate in the activity until you test negative for the next drug test. You will also have to complete a five-hour drug course.
  • The second time: the same stipulations apply but you can't participate for a full calendar year and you have to complete a ten-hour drug course.
  • Third time you test positive: you are out of the program completely.
The next step for this program is the final approval. The district expects that to happen near the end of April. They say the money to fund it will come from the school's budget.

There are other school districts in Central Texas with similar random drug testing programs.

Georgetown is one of them. The district has been doing it for a couple of years and it costs about $25,000 per year.

Both of their high schools test nine times a year and they say they each school averages one positive every other test.

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