Enid students line up for drug tests

Tuesday, August 2nd 2005, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

ENID, Okla. (AP) Hundreds of Enid High School students lined up at the school on Monday to provide samples for drug tests required for those who participate in certain extracurricular activities under a new school policy .

Enid Public Schools' students in grades 8 through 12 who participate in activities governed by Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association are required to submit a urine sample. All of those students will be tested before the school year begins, and the district will conduct random tests throughout the year.

``I thought it was really dumb,'' said 17-year-old senior Aisling Evans, a manager for the volleyball team. ``It's like an invasion of your privacy.''

About 1,300 students will be tested. High school students this week are being tested in the cafeteria at Enid High.

Eighth- and ninth-grade students will be tested later.

The policy governs tobacco, alcohol, illegal and performance-enhancing drug use by students participating in extracurricular activities.

``I think it's a good idea, although I'm not a fan of peeing in a cup,'' said 17-year-old senior Alicia Coffin. ``A lot of my friends have a problem with it, but I think it's going to help make the school stronger.''

The policy affects only those activities governed by OSSAA. Based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision, drug testing cannot be administered to the entire student body because student attendance is compulsory.

Enid school administrators say the new policy is meant to help students, not punish them for using drugs.

Kim Poslick, an Enid High School drug and alcohol counselor, said she definitely can see where the new policy could deter students from using drugs and alcohol.

``It's certainly our goal for this to be a positive prevention,'' Poslick said, adding that another goal is early detection and providing help for students who may need it.

Administrators and board members haven't made a decision on whether the testing will continue after this school year.

Students can be tested up to 12 times per year. Punishment for a positive drug test is suspension from participation in all scheduled games, competitions, performances or scrimmages for 10 to 88 days. The punishment can be reduced if students agree to certain conditions, including counseling.