Report card in for random drug testing program |

Report card in for random drug testing program

by Scott Neuffer

More than a year has passed since the Douglas County School District implemented a random drug testing program for ninth-12th-graders in extracurricular activities, and now the first report card on the program is in.

According to a review performed by Assistant Superintendent Lyn Gorrindo and Douglas High Dean of Students Jeff Evans, the district’s positive test rate in the 2009-10 school year fell between the national average of 2-3 percent, with the exception of one Lake school.

Douglas High had a 2.3 percent positive test rate. Out of 478 tests administered, five were refused, and six came back positive for drugs and/or alcohol. Of those six, two positives came from the senior pool, and four positives came from the 11th grade.

Out of 21 tests administered to ninth-graders at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, zero came back positive. At Carson Valley Middle School, two of 72 tests were positive. Both schools had a combined positive test rate of 2.2 percent.

The highest rate came from Whittell High School at approximately 5.4 percent. Out of 186 tests administered, only one was refused, but four positives came from the freshman class, three from sophomores, and two from the junior pool.

“We feel the program is worthwhile,” Gorrindo said Wednesday. “We feel like it gives students the ability to say ‘no’ on the weekends to drinking and drugs because of the probability of being tested. I also think parents of students appreciate it.”

The program runs throughout the school year, meaning students can be tested in the off season. A positive test results in the loss of the remaining season or part of the upcoming season for the offending student. By the third offense, that same student has permanently lost his or her extracurricular privileges.

District policy also requires violators to submit to follow-up tests, as well as to participate in four sessions of drug counseling.

The annual cost of the program is $23,500.