Area schools discuss drug testing policies

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Updated: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 06:26:05 CST

Creighton Prep in Omaha announced this week they would randomly hold drug and alcohol testing for students next fall.

It's an idea that's gaining popularity among High Schools across the state.

Adams Central Public Schools in Hastings implemented drug testing students in extracurricular activities back in 2010.

A decision the school board hoped would be a positive one.

"They really wanted just to make sure that kids are safe and healthy and we're doing this in a healthy environment." Said Shawn Scott, the Superintendent of Adams Central Public Schools.

Three strikes and you're out.

Strike one, a student is pulled from his activity for 20 days, but there's a chance to earn a comeback.

Students who enroll in substance abuse counseling get a lesser punishment.

"The best thing to me about this, if we ever did have a positive is to turn around and you get the students the help they need and this is the whole point of this." Said Scott.

While this surely isn't a popular policy among everyone, many students get the goal.

"The kids that might want to do drugs might think twice about it because they know they could be punished and have the things that they love to do taken away." Said senior student athlete, Sarah Allen.

Adams Central drug tests just the students in competitive extracurricular activities, but that's a whopping 90% of their student body.

From marijuana to cocaine, and steroids, the random urine tests cover all bases.

"We know everyone's on a level playing field, and we don't have anyone that's going to mess themselves up. We don't want that for our peers." Said Katie Ruth, a junior on a wide variety of student activities.

Public schools by law can only drug test students in extracurricular activities like basketball, but private schools play by a different set of rules.

All of the students at Omaha's Creighton Prep could potentially be drug tested starting in the fall of 2014.

The decision is getting the attention of administrators at Hastings Catholic Schools.

"If random drug testing is going to be something that helps our students to be healthier young people and be educated better, then we may go there." Said Father Tom Brouillette, Superintendent of Hastings Catholic Schools.

For now, if students receive a legal drug or alcohol violation there's a very similar three strike policy.

"It certainly makes us think a little more in that direction." Said Father Brouillette.