Tuscaloosa City Schools considers random drug testing - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa City Schools considers random drug testing

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A school system in west Alabama is considering drug testing students.

The Tuscaloosa City School's assistant superintendent said he is working on a new policy that would allow random drug test at high schools and potentially middle schools. But only certain groups of students will be tested.

Currently there is no drug testing policy at Tuscaloosa City Schools. Drug dogs do random searches and there is a drug diversion program, but nothing on paper that requires a drug test.

Part of the policy being considered by assistant superintendent Mike Daria would include testing students who have certain privileges at school.

Daria said, "When faced with this decision we want to be able to give them a reason to say no. And give them a reason to not participate in that because they do value their participation in their extracurricular activities."

Students that drive to school and parents who choose to have their child included could also be in the groups tested.

Daria said the board will work on the policy this summer and they could potentially implement it as early as the fall semester.

Although the districts drug diversion program hasn't been going on long enough to determine if there's been a rise in drug use, some parents and grandparents said they're on board.

Former parent of Tuscaloosa City School children and current grandparent of TCS children, Cece Washington said, "If they are using then it would be detected. And if they're not using then they'll be protected. They'll be protected from themselves and it will kind of deter them. Even if the thought came across their mind once, they'll think twice now."

The language of the new policy hasn't been finalized, but the assistant superintendent said one option is to require drug testing as part of participating in an extracurricular activity, so separate approval to test a student may not be required.

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