Five years ago, we began drug testing students and working to ensure that we were being proactive in helping them to stay focused on living clean and healthy lives. We understand that parents are the first line of defense; but, as our kids reach the critical teen years, we are here to help.
In Wylie ISD, we maintain that drugs have no place in our schools or in our community. The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees and administration believe that a good drug program is not designed to be punitive, but preventative. If a student is offered drugs, we want him or her to have been provided with every possible reason to say “NO!” Students representing our schools should be held to a higher standard and lose privileges for using illegal drugs. For this reason, Wylie ISD began mandatory drug testing any student in grades 7-12 participating in extracurricular activities. We also included students attending prom or applying for a parking permit. These measures are our best efforts to keep our kids from making bad decisions which could negatively affect them.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Students, staff, directors and coaches are not aware of testing dates or the list of students who are chosen to be tested. Instead, each month, students are randomly selected by an outside testing company and personally escorted from class to the testing area. This process helps to ensure that students cannot simply skip the test. For each student called, the testing company collects a urine sample. If the test comes back positive for drugs, the parents are contacted by the independent testing lab and additional information is provided. Every parent, or adult student if 18 years or older, is provided a copy of the results.
If a student tests positive for illegal drugs, the following will occur:
1st Offense – Lose participation/parking privileges for 45 days
2nd Offense – Lose participation/parking privileges for 90 days
3rd Offense – Lose participation/parking privileges for 1 year
In the first two years of testing, we were pleased to find that only 2% of our students tested positive for drugs. That may seem hard to improve, right? In the last three years, only 1% of our students tested positive. This confirmed our belief that the number of drug users is very small in Wylie ISD. It also helped to convey that drug testing with a consequence allowed students the ability to say “no” under peer pressure. Regardless of the cost or consequence, the safety of our students will always take precedence over everything else we do.
As always, we want to keep you informed of the measures we are taking to support our students in achieving their goals of being happy and productive members of society. We value the opportunity to work with parents to give students the tools they need to be successful. We thank you for your help in keeping our students safe and we welcome any questions or feedback you may have regarding this topic. Fostering the well-being of our students is not just a responsibility, it’s a privilege. Keeping our kids drug free is important, and it’s The Wylie Way!