EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. -- A big change is coming for students in the Excelsior Springs school district. A new drug policy is putting many high schoolers in line for random drug testing.
The district says it has seen a major spike in student drug use and now has a serious plan to stop it.
"I've seen some students do things and found out things I didn't think they were capable of," said parent Bill Hallberstadt.
Hallberstadt has a daughter enrolled at the high school and used to be on the school board. He helped to get security cameras in the lunchroom after rumors started to spread about drug use, and the footage showed every parent's worst fear.
"You can see kids passing drugs at the lunch table," he said.
And it's not marijuana. Hallberstadt says it was prescription drugs, even methamphetamine.
The district recently made its findings public and with it came an announcement: a new drug policy. Any student involved in extracurricular activities or parks on school property will be entered into a drug pool.
Each student will be assigned a number and a company will pull those numbers at random. If they test positive, they face a 30 day suspension from all school activities and parking.
"I don't think students like it at all for the most part. There are gonna be students that are gonna pay the price," Hallberstadt said.
Hallberstadt says for the most part, parents are on board, but he says he's on the fence.
"You can be a good kid and have a problem, but if you are picked on by an administrator that doesn't like you, or a coach that doesn't care for you... you can be singled out," he said.
He has hopes though that the system is fair, and it's a growing trend that seems to be working in more than 160 Missouri school districts. Hallberstadt hopes it works in his hometown and puts an end to what seems to be a dangerous downward spiral.
"It's not to really turn you over to the police, it's to get you help," he said.
Parents do have the option to take their kids out of the drug pool, but once entered they must stay there all year long.