Edmond Schools Consider Drug Testing

Monday, January 12th 2009, 11:18 pm
By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Edmond schools are considering randomly testing a select demographic of students for drug use, in an effort to curb teens' drug abuse.

District offices said Edmond students are more likely to use drugs than their national peers.

"I think it would be good," student athlete J.C. Wright said. "It would keep kids out of trouble."

The drug testing could not legally focus on all students after courts have ruled that unacceptable, but it will target as many as possible.

Jim Carlile, Edmond's director of safe and drug free schools, proposed a policy that would include all students involved in extracurricular activities and students with a parking spot on campus.

"Our numbers are going up as far as drug suspensions," Carlile said.

In the past two years, the statistic has risen 59 percent.

"Our numbers are higher than the national average," Carlile said.

Cheerleader Semiya Williams said she wasn't surprised and believes the random drug tests are necessary.

"People are too young to be giving life away to drugs," Williams said.

Williams said she thinks testing students who park at school is the best part of the proposal since she believes most athletes are drug free.

"I'm not saying this is going to rid all the drug problems with kids in Edmond, but you know what, if we save just a few kids, it's money well spent," Carlile said.

According to Carlile, an outside company would do the testing and company computer programs would draw the names at random.

If caught, students would attend mandatory counseling.

The Edmond School Board does not plan on voting on the drug-testing until February, at the earliest, and plan on holding public hearings before then.