Although this "project" has been in the works for months –there's always a few that claim they knew nothing about new policies being put in place. As with being cognizant of driving laws –when the DPS Trooper informs a driver of an infraction; the phrase, "... well, I didn't know," won't fly. And the Trooper will more than likely say, "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse." Such is the instance of this newly implemented policy.
So, parents, guardians and students; there's one more chance for you to learn everything you might want to know about the upcoming drug tests. Superintendent Bill Boyd will host a public informational meeting Thursday evening, July 31st at 6:30 p.m. in the Kermit High School Commons area.
This meeting will provide all interested parties an opportunity to discuss, in detail, the new policy.
In a nutshell, any Kermit Junior High School or Kermit High School student that participates in any extracurricular activity or any student who drives a vehicle to school will be tested –twice in the school year plus some random testing throughout the year.
The actual testing will be done by a third-party drug testing company with expertise in the area of drug testing. The specific drugs to be tested for will be discussed at the meeting; as will the penalties for receiving a "positive" test result.
Parents and students should be aware, the drug testing is not a "gotcha" ploy for criminal charges. The new policy has two main objectives: 1) To provide an atmosphere for unencumbered, sober learning and; 2) Provide each student with a truly legitimate reason to say No to dealers and or their peers who may be pressuring them to partake in or experiment with drugs.
Drug Testing is not new to Texas schools. However, in attempting to learn exactly how many school districts have implemented student drug-use testing, we were unable to find good, current information. An old guesstimate was 400 (of 1000+) school districts had implemented some type of drug testing policy for their students (other than steroid testing). Surprisingly, the Texas Education Agency and Texas Association of School Boards seemed to take a "don't touch" stance and offered only the legal aspects of such policies –no statistical information. What we did find in that research was an article concerning a school district South of Kermit that had an incredibly naive attitude toward their testing policy –stating "...they did not have a drug problem." Our question, after reading that statement, was simply, "If you don't have a problem, why spend the money needed to implement and service that policy?" Those dots don't connect and drug testing an entire school is expensive.
Again, back to the local implementation of the testing policy, this meeting will be the perfect opportunity to learn and ask questions concerning the new policy and it would behove every parent and student to attend.
There will be copies of the drug testing handbook available in English and Spanish. Superintendent Boyd will go over the handbook in detail and field all questions.
We will update this posting with more details after the meeting.Read More...