The Stephenville ISD board of trustees met Monday evening to discuss several items including a student survey that could prompt the district to begin drug testing.
The survey asked, “How many of your friends use drugs?” Out of 1,575 students who answered the question, 245 answered ‘a few of them,’ 62 answered ‘about half of them,’ and 50 answered ‘more than half.’
The student surveys were taken anonymously.
“One of my biggest issues is how many of our students don’t make healthy life choices,” Superintendent Matt Underwood said. “We’re going to look into some drug testing for extracurricular activities. The easiest and most straight forward approach is the hair follicle test, but it’s the most expensive.”
According to health-street.net, hair follicle drug testing ranges anywhere from $175 to $325. A urine screening is in the $50-$80 range, however, a urine test typically only detects drugs one to four days after using whereas a hair follicle test can detect the use of drugs in the past 12 months.
Underwood said he was once against drug testing in schools with the argument that if a student was suspended from school they may end up continuing down that path.
But he said there have been some intervention-type steps that would help before suspension, like parent notification and counseling.
“I think we’re the largest high school in Texas that does not drug test, so I think we need to at least look at it,” Underwood said. “But I think there has to be some intervention opportunities before you suspend.”
The board tabled the issue.
In other business, the board administered the oath of office to Dr. Ann Calahan and Scott Osman and approved the purchase of iPad Air 2 devices for Gilbert Intermediate.,