Texas school district to randomly drug test students participating in extracurricular activities throughout the year

PHOTO: Students are seen running in this undated stock image.PlayWoodysphotos/Shutterstock
WATCH School district to randomly drug test students

A Texas school district will randomly drug test students enrolled in extracurricular activities throughout the year, it announced in a letter recently sent to parents.

Kids in grades 7 to 12 will need to pass a drug test at the beginning of the school year before they are approved to participate in sports and other activities, Chris Wigington, superintendent of Bushland Independent School District, said in the letter.

Students requesting a permit to park a vehicle on school property will also be requested to pass a drug test, Wigington said.

Random testing for alcohol and "numerous illegal drugs" may occur up to 10 times during the school year, and students will not be notified in advance of any test, according to the letter.

PHOTO: Bushland High School is seen here. Google Maps Street View
Bushland High School is seen here.

All selected students will be required to provide a saliva sample. Those who don't will be deemed to have a positive result.

The testing will take place in a confidential location at the school and results will be disclosed to the student, his or her parents and designated school officials.

If a student tests positive, a meeting with school officials, the student and parents and the coach or sponsor of the extracurricular activity will be scheduled, according to the school district's policy book.

The student or parent will then have two school days following the meeting to provide a written medical explanation for a positive result, according to the policy.

Consequences of a positive result will affect a student's ability to participate in competitions or performances, parking privileges and district sponsored social events. The severity of the consequences will depend on the number of positive test results the student has received.

A positive test result will not result in disciplinary sanctions or academic penalties, according to the school district.

Wigington told ABC Amarillo affiliate KVII that the district does not have a drug problem, but the school board wants to be "proactive" to ensure a "drug-free environment."

"The Bushland ISD Board of Trustees believe that maintaining an environment that is safe, free from illegal substance abuse, and conducive to learning is an important goal for the district and community,:" the letter states. "This policy and the program that it supports are designed not for punitive measures, but to eliminate the potential threat to the student’s health and safety that can occur if students are using or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs."

PHOTO: Students are seen running in this undated stock image. Woodysphotos/Shutterstock
Students are seen running in this undated stock image.

There will be no suspensions as a result of a positive test result, as administrators do not want to hurt a student's academic standing, Wigington told the station.

"Great kids make bad decisions every day and what we want to do is make sure that our kids have the opportunity to make mistakes, but come back and make amends, I guess that’s a way to put that," he said.

Wigington did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.