XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The Xenia Board of Education is considering a program that would drug test their athletes as well as students participating in clubs.
According to board president Dr. Robert Dillaplain, the district is in no rush to make this decision.
Dr. Dillaplain says playing school sports or being in a club comes second to an education. He says students must meet requirements to participate and sobriety should be included in the requirements.
The board wants to make it clear: if a student fails a test under this proposal, the student would not be punished. Instead, they would be sent to drug counseling.
You can read this story first reported by our partner paper the Xenia Gazette.
Xenia High School Junior and student council member Garrison Henry, who is not an athlete, says students are not comfortable with the sampling process.
“I believe I shouldn’t have to take a test as well as my other peers, when I know I’m clean. The district is basically saying, in my opinion, every student that walks into Xenia High School is guilty until proven innocent,” said Henry.
According to Xenia school resource officers, marijuana use is a growing problem district-wide. Last year, 38 of 145 students passed through a court diversion program.
The cost for the program could vary because each school can pick and choose how expansive they want it to be. Several schools already test their athletes in the Miami Valley.
Still, Garrison Henry thinks the money could go to creating more opportunities for students.
“I searched through old yearbooks in my free time. I noticed a lot of clubs we used to have that we no longer have,” said Henry.
The school board says spending money on drug treatment at an earlier age will save the community in the long run.
“Among the graduates of Xenia, if one of them is a drug addict, how much does lifetime treatment cost the public tax base?” asked Dr. Dillaplain.
The school board says they use the DARE program and they have used drug sniffing dogs to search lockers. Normally, the use of dogs will lead to expulsion or a criminal record.
Dr. Dillaplain says the idea of getting students the help they need sounds a lot better than a criminal record.
Nothing will be voted on during the Monday, 6:30 pm school board meeting.
Henry plans to present research that supports his argument that testing is not a good idea at this age.
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