Smithville students may need to submit to random drug testing to drive to school

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Smithville School District officials met with parents Tuesday to discuss the idea of beginning random drug testing at the high school for students.

Any student who participates in extra-curriculars or co-curricular activities, including parking at the school, would be subject to random drug testing under the proposed program.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Schuetz told parents he’s very much in favor of the program as a deterrent to drug use not as punishment. Details for how students would be disciplined for a failed drug test haven’t been worked out but it would likely begin with a loss of participation for some time and referral to a drug treatment program.

 “People have preconceived ideas about things and I don’t want my kid labeled as a bad kid because they have a positive test,” Shauna Holman said.

“If they are clean they don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t care if my kid gets tested and if he gets caught I’ll be dang glad that he was tested,” Yvonne Ruff said.

Parents heard from officials in the nearby school district Excelsior Springs, which already has drug testing of students, and from a representative of a drug testing company about how the random process works.

Dr. Schuetz said it would be up to the district to determine how often students were tested and, therefore, how much it costs the district. No formal policy has been drawn up for a school board vote at this time.

“We just want to be able to help students and intervene if there is a problem and get them the support that they need so if they are successful while they are at Smithville High School,” Schuetz said.

Some people wondered if teachers would also be tested, but that’s barred by the Fourth Amendment unless there’s reasonable suspicion.

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