Random Drug Testing to Begin at West Platte Schools
WESTON, Mo. — Students in seventh through twelfth grade are being asked to opt-in to a random drug testing program in the West Platte School District. It’s one of 80 districts in the state of Missouri to take this no-nonsense approach to drugs.
Standing at six feet-nine inches tall, Bryce Cashman knows basketball will play a big part in his future, so he doesn’t want to mess up his chances with drugs.
“I know if I really want to go to college, if I do stuff like that, it’ll just mess up my whole plan on what I want do for life,” Cashman said.
Cashman says even in the West Platte School District, drugs are a problem.
“Especially I think junior class and senior class there’s a lot going on — there’s a lot of pressure sometimes like at parties and stuff,” Cashman explained.
That’s why the school board voted to approve a measure that requires students in seventh through twelfth grades to enroll in a random drug testing program by October 15. If they don’t opt-in, they can say goodbye to parking in the school parking lot or extracurricular activities.
“Because they are privileges, they can come with additional stipulations,” Dr. Jerrod Wheeler, Superintendent of West Platte Schools said.
Approximately 10 students will be tested about once a month and chosen by a third-party.
“We use the same standards as MoDOT, so it’s very private to the students, and very professional,” Wheeler explained.
If a student’s test comes back positive, their classes aren’t affected, but their outside activities are for awhile, meaning no theater, no volleyball, no football or any other extracurricular activities for 30 days on a first offense.
Administrators hope it’s something that will get students to say no to drugs. Cashman thinks it’ll help.
“I know some people that don’t really like it, but like, it’s just the best for our community,” he said.
Students can choose to take a drug counseling program on their first offense to decrease their suspension from activities from 30 days to 15 days. The program would cost on average $2,000 a year to run. Two companies have already come forward and donated money so the district doesn’t have to pay for it.