At Pittsburg High School, about 60% of the students are involved in extra-curricular activities ranging from sports, theater, or band groups.
This is why the Pittsburg High School (PHS) administrators are pushing for a drug testing program, yet they want to get the parents involved in the proposal and gather feedback from them before they finalize all measures.
The planned drug testing program will require students to secure informed-consent agreements from their parents before joining in any extracurricular activities. This will give the school the right to randomly drug test students with a medical review officer.
PHS activities director Doug Hitchcock said it’s about time for their school to adapt substance abuse policies as they could be the only high school in Southeast Kansas that has yet to implement such program.
On April 3, Hitchcock hopes to get more feedback from the parents about the drug testing program during the meeting set to be held in the school auditorium.
In last year’s Communities That Care survey, PHS had one of the highest reported percentage of students getting into drug and alcohol activities. The number of students who admitted to marijuana and alcohol use in PHS was more than the statewide and countrywide averages, although tobacco and methamphetamine abuse declined since the last two decades.
In their version of the drug testing program, students that register positive results will be penalized with suspensions and will be required to undergo counseling programs whether online or at the expense of the students. There will also be follow-up tests to be done for the rest of the school year to monitor their improvement or continuing use.
There are no academic-related consequences and those with graded extracurricular activities will be reassigned to alternative programs.
Hitchcock is optimistic that their drug testing policy will be in place by August of this year.