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School District's Way to Push Back on 'Peer Pressure': Drug Tests

Kids as young as 12 will be drug-tested in Bushland, Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
Athletes from Bushland High School participate in a 2016 volleyball match in Garland, Texas.   (Rick Moon /The Dallas Morning News via AP)

(Newser) – A Texas school district says students as young as 12 will need to submit to random drug testing to participate in band, chess, and other extracurriculars. Bushland Independent School District Superintendent Chris Wigington says the board's decision to drug-test students in grades seven through 12 when classes begin next month is a "proactive" move following a year of discussion. "It gives [students] an opportunity to say NO to peer pressure and say 'I'm not going to do that because I want to participate,'" Wigington tells KVII. Extracurricular activities like drama and football are "privileges not rights," he adds.

Students requesting a school parking permit must also provide a saliva sample, per KTRK. "If a student refuses to provide a sample, they will be deemed to have a positive test result," an information notice reads. In addition to being barred from student council and other clubs, students who test positive for substances including alcohol, marijuana, heroin, and opioids may also be barred from social events in the district west of Amarillo. But "we don't want to suspend them from school" because "we don't want to hurt a student academically," Wigington says, per KVII. (A Nebraska school district will be testing students for nicotine.)

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