Vienna High School's new random drug testing policy - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Vienna High School's new random drug testing policy

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VIENNA (WSIL) -- It's back to school next week for Vienna High School students, and there's a new policy this year. 

Sherie Smith, school nurse, says some students will have to undergo random drug testing. 

"Anyone that is involved in any extracurricular activities such as sports," she explains. "If they are in any kind of organization such as Beta Club or FFA." 

Parents and students will have to sign a consent form for the drug testing or they cannot participate in sports, clubs, or band. 

In addition to participation in extracurricular activities, the random drug testing will also apply to students who drive and park at the school. 

At the start of the school year, each student will be assigned a number. A computer program will randomly select numbers for drug testing. 

The student will be notified they were chosen and then go to the nurses' station for their screening. 

"I'll watch them swab themselves," Smith says. "We'll put it in (a reader) and get the results. If it's negative they'll be sent back to class." 

However, if the results are positive, the student will be taken to Family Counseling Center and undergo a more thorough urine drug test. 

Consequences for testing positive to drugs or alcohol will vary depending on type of substance and how many times the student has violated the policy. 

"It can be anywhere from sitting out third of a season, all the way to not being able to participate throughout their high school years," Smith says. 

She adds that like many high schools, Vienna has had some drug use among students.

But, the random drug testing to isn't meant to catch students, rather it's to deter them from experimenting with drugs and alcohol. 

"Maybe they are in a peer pressure situation," Smith remarks. "They have the opportunity to say 'No. Listen, I could be selected for a random drug screen, I'm not going to participate in that behavior.'" 

She adds the goal is to keep individual students safe. 

Vienna reached out to area high schools that also drug test to help them come up with their own policy. 

School officials say the response from parents has mostly been positive.

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