Tuscaloosa. City Schools consider drug testing - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa. City Schools consider drug testing

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

   If school board members approve it, three groups of students at Tuscaloosa City middle and high schools could be randomly tested for drugs... Those in extracurricular activities... Those who drive to school... And any others -- whose parents want them tested.  "We have many of our students involved in extracurricular activities. When faced with this decision -- we want to give them a reason to say no," says Mike Daria, Assistant Superintendent.

  Some parents we talked with  already say 'yes'...  Others say -- no way...to them it singles out who should be tested.

   Victoria morris has a cousin in the system and believes some students would be unfairly targeted under the proposed policy. "Those are probably the students trying to do something with their life. They have cars for a reason because their parents probably have to be to work at a certain time or they're probably in extracurricular activities because they want to better themselves," she says.

   School leaders say the main reason is just to put an extra deterrent in place.  They don't believe drugs in the schools is a big issue.  But, 21 students did go through a court-drug diversion program last year. "We look at our pride results. We look at those code of conduct offenses where we see children getting in trouble in school."

   However, some people maintain "What about the students that are not driving and the students that are not in extracurricular activities -- what are you going to do with those students...I think the whole student body should be tested."

    Board members will discuss the policy over the summer break and aim to implement a final draft by mid-fall semester.

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