(Lander, WY) – The FCSD #1 school board convened for a regular meeting on January 17, where the first reading of a potential mandatory random drug testing policy for students in extracurricular activities was discussed.
Still in the discussion phase, action was not taken on the policy just yet, which wouldn’t take effect until the 2023-24 school year, according to Superintendent Dave Barker.
“Extracurricular activities” or “activity programs” are defined as “any activity that meets the guidelines of the Wyoming High School Activities Association and the Fremont County School District No. 1 sanctioned activities,” as listed below.
- Athletics: Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Nordic Ski, Soccer, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling
- Activities: Student Council
- Athletics: Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Track and Field, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling
- WHSAA Sanctioned Activities: Cheerleading, District Music
- All-State: Music, Marching Band, Speech, Student Council, Drama, F.B.L.A, F.F.A, State Art Symposium, SkillsUSA, Dance Team, Plays/Musicals
“This statement should qualify our position on student drug and alcohol use,” the policy states. “Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege which can be taken away for failure to comply with this policy.”
The purpose of the policy as written is as follows:
- To provide for the health and safety of all students
- To undermine the effects of peer pressure by providing a legitimate reason for students to refuse use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol
- To encourage students who use illegal drugs and/or alcohol to participate in appropriate treatment programs.
If a student refuses to submit to a drug test authorized under this policy, or fails or refuses to comply with any of the other provisions, they will not be eligible to participate in any activities mentioned above, including all meetings, practices, performances and competitions for a period of 365 days.
The policy goes on to clarify that “No student shall be penalized academically for testing positive for illegal drugs or alcohol.”
“The results of drug tests pursuant to this policy will not be documented in any student’s academic records. Information regarding the results of drug tests will not be disclosed to criminal or juvenile authorities absent legal compulsion by valid and binding subpoena or other legal process, which the district shall not solicit. In the event of service of any such subpoena or legal process, the student and the student’s custodial parent or legal guardian will be notified as soon as possible by the district.”
The following is a rundown of how the procedure and implementation of the policy would work, as it is currently written.
The first step would be the authorization and requirement of random, unannounced screenings for students participating in extracurricular activities.
Each student wishing to participate in any extracurricular activity and the student’s custodial parent or legal guardian would then consent in writing to drug testing pursuant to the district’s drug testing program. No student shall be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activity absent such consent.
The list of students participating in extracurricular activities contained in the random pool will be updated upon receipt of a signed consent form.
Students who have been selected will be required to report to the designated collection site for testing. (A student that is selected for testing, whether they are skipped due to absence, test positive, or test negative, shall remain in the pool for future random selection.)
Students who quit or are cut from all extracurricular activities, prior to being selected for random testing, may request their name be dropped from the testing list. (A request form must be signed by the student and his/her parents to be dropped, however, students may volunteer to remain in the pool even though he/she is not in any extracurricular activities.)
Students entering high school from middle school or junior high will continue under the 365 day drug testing period, and are subject to continued testing until the 365 day time period is complete.
A student who has tested positive during a random test will continue to be tested through the summer months, and a Drug Program Coordinator designated by the district will contact the student to establish a location and time for the test to take place.
“There is an obligation to continue support for students who test positive.”
Whenever a student’s test results indicate the presence of an illegal drug (positive test), the custodial parent or legal guardian will be notified and a meeting will then be scheduled along with the school principal, Drug Program Coordinator, and the student.
Following that, different procedures will be taken with each subsequent positive test.
For the first positive test:
- DPC meeting with parent/s and student.
- Student notified of a requirement to miss 5 days of practice for the extracurricular activity. The student will also be ineligible to publicly perform in any activity for 14 calendar days. If the end of the activity precedes the end of the 14 days the remaining days will carry over to the next activity so the student completes the required number of days.
- Written proof of alcohol/drug use assessment by a drug counselor is required prior to participating in the activity. Follow through of the recommended drug assistance program sessions with the counselor is strongly encouraged. A negative test must be provided before the student may return to the activity.
- Follow-up drug testing, a minimum of once a month, will commence after the first parent meeting for the next 12 months or end upon graduation.
For the second positive test:
- DPC meeting with parent/s and the student.
- Suspension of the privilege to participate in practice for 5 days and extracurricular activities for 30 calendar days. If the end of the activity precedes the end of the 30 days, the remaining days will carry over to the next activity so that the student completes the required number of days.
- An additional five sessions of drug counseling must be completed before the student may petition to return to activities. A negative test must be provided before the student may return to the activity.
- Follow-up drug testing for the next 365 days will begin upon notification of the second positive test, or end upon graduation.
For the third positive test:
- DPC meeting with parent/s and student.
- Suspension of eligibility to participate in practice and extracurricular activities for one year from the date of the third positive test meeting, or end upon graduation from Fremont County School District No.
- A negative test must be provided before the student may return to the activity.
- Follow-up drug testing will continue for 365 days from the date of the meeting.
For the fourth positive test:
- DPC meeting with the parent/s and student.
- Suspension of eligibility to participate in activities for the remainder of the student’s time as a student at Fremont County School District No. 1.
To read the policy in its entirety and for more information about testing procedures, collection of samples, and the results process, and how to appeal the test results, click here.