School implements drug testing policy

Wauneta-Palisade Schools will be implementing a drug testing policy in the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.
    Both the studentS and their parents/guardians wishing to participate in any extracurricular activity including, but not limited to, basketball, football, volleyball, cross country, track, cheerleading, FCCLA, FFA, pep band, jazz band, mock trial, speech, wrestling, quiz bowl, student council, National Honor Society, golf, marching band, One Act, swing choir, FBLA, graduation, school dances, inter-high day, school concerts and athletic academic award ceremonies has to sign a consent form that allows the school to perform random drug tests.
    “I don’t think we have a drug or alcohol problem by any means. The whole idea is to help give kids a reason to say no if put into that position,” said Joseph Frecks, Wauneta-Palisade principal/activities director.
    The names of students who return their consent forms will be sent in to Western Pathology Consultants, Inc. (WPCI), a company that creates employee drug testing programs for construction, transportation, trucking, schools, students and many other businesses.
    WPCI takes all of the names and places them in a pool. The company will randomly select a student to be tested when necessary.
    Molly Messersmith, the school nurse, will receive training to perform monthly breath, saliva, hair or urinalysis tests. Results are instantaneous. If a test is positive, Messersmith will send the sample in to WPCI for a more detailed and specific test.
    “Maybe two or three kids a month will be chosen, because there really isn’t a problem,” said Frecks.
    No law enforcement will be notified if a test does come back positive. Parents will meet with school administration to review policy and take action.
    If a student self reports, and it is a first offense, they will have to complete a drug and alcohol curriculum provided by the school, complete 10 hours of community service and the student will be ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity for 10 calendar days.

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