Maxwell Unified tightens alcohol and drug controls

Maxwell Unified School District’s Board of Trustees hopes to strengthen the district’s alcohol and drug policies in an effort to provide a safe school environment and maximize the health and safety of the district’s students.

The school board has proposed requiring athletes who test positive for drugs in a random drug test to take a subsequent drug test prior to starting a new sport.

Board President Kim Giffin said the current random drug testing policy allows the district to only disqualify athletes from participating in their current sport if they fail a drug test, but it does not require any subsequent testing.

Giffin suggested that as part of student rehabilitation, if any athletes have positive drug tests, then they must take subsequent tests in order to continue participating in the district’s athletic program.

“It would no longer be random at that point,” said Giffin, at the district’s Nov. 8 meeting. “It would be mandatory. The policy should say that if (the student) chooses to continue to play sports, then the district can drug test (them) for one year.”

The school board asked Superintendent Zach Thurman to have the district’s legal services review the new policy before the district’s December meeting.

Meanwhile, the school board also plans to curtail alcohol use at activities on and off school premises, including school dances, class trips, and rodeo events.

The district has a new breathalyzer device, which measure blood alcohol content from a breath sample, and will subject students suspected of being under the influence to take the test, officials said.

The breathalyzer device can also identify alcohol in open containers, and will be used for such as needed, Thurman said.

According to the new policy, any student testing positive for alcohol will be disciplined according to the district’s policies, including the athletic policy, and that parents and law enforcement would be contacted as well.

All students attending school-sponsored trips, class trips, FFA, and FBLA activities may also be subject to alcohol breathalyzer testing at any time before or during the activities, Giffin said.

The school board said like the drug testing policy, students and their parents or guardians must sign the breathalyzer policy in order for students to participate in school related extracurricular and co-curricular school-related activities. ■