Mt. Zion school officials approve drug testing proposal

MT. ZION - Mount Zion school board has approved a new policy that requires high school students to submit to drug testing in order to participate in various school-related activities.

Under the new policy, students who wish to participate in clubs, dances, sports, driving or parking at the school, award ceremonies, and field trips would be randomly selected to take the tests, which will detect the use of alcohol or other drugs, like marijuana.  The tests would be conducted by clinical specialists, and students who wish to participate in the extracurricular activities must sign and return a consent form by September 1, 2015, or within 10 days of enrolling.

The total cost of implementing the policy is not yet known, as there isn't a set number of students who will be tested.  However, Mount Zion Assistant Principal Mike Mose says the tests will cost between $25 and $50 per student, per test.  The school district will cover the costs of these random tests.

Students who violate the policy for the first time will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities, or drive to school, for three months.  A second and third violation would result in the student losing those privileges for 12 months, and for the remainder of their time at the high school, respectively.  Additionally, the student would have to submit a clean drug test from a school-approved testing facility in order to gain those privileges back.  The student and the student's parents or guardians will have to pay for this test.

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