North Bend students face drug testing

Tests target teens in extracurricular activities
2012-08-14T11:00:00Z 2012-08-14T21:21:38Z North Bend students face drug testingBy Jessie Higgins, The World Coos Bay World
August 14, 2012 11:00 am  • 

NORTH BEND — North Bend High School will drug-test all students in extracurricular activities starting this fall.

The school board approved a resolution to that effect Monday night.

'This will give students a reason to say: 'No, I'm not going to try it. I have something at stake,'" school board member Deb Reid said shortly before the board made its decision.

Students were told of the proposal before leaving school last spring, said Bill Lucero, the high school principal. Lucero and Mike Forrester, the athletic director, said every student they have talked to favors the new policy.

'I coached basketball, and I've had students tell me they were not going to be on the team because there were kids using," Forrester said.

'You can't argue with that."

Sole comment opposed

But at Monday night's meeting, the single community comment opposed mandatory testing.

'Frankly, we're taking the best and brightest kids we have and subjecting them to unreasonable search and seizure," said Jim Wilson, father of a North Bend High School student.

Lucero said Wilson's statement was the first negative comment he had heard about the policy, which he and other high school administrators have worked toward for years. They even added it to this year's budget, hoping for board approval.

Testing will cost the district $8,000-$9,000 a year.

Not only athletes

Each student participating in extracurricular activities will be tested before the activity begins and again at a random time during the season.

Reid said this is to increase effectiveness. Other school districts in the area, including Myrtle Point and Powers, do random drug testing to a few students in extracurricular activities every year.

'It is good for students going in to know they will be tested," Reid said. 'What is random about it is when."

The policy is not limited to student athletes. Students in other extracurricular activities — including band, choir and forensics — will be tested, but only if they participate in competitions outside school.

High school employees will perform the tests with urine kits. They plan to perform the tests in locker rooms, one team at a time. The tests will detect marijuana, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Middle schools in 2013

The district already prohibits drug and alcohol use by students involved in extracurricular activities. A student who tests positive would face the same consequences as a student caught using: a two-week suspension from the activity and a meeting with high school administrators and counselors.

Positive test results also would require a clean test at the end of the suspension. If a student refuses to take the test, it will be considered a positive test, Lucero said.

The district plans to expand the policy to include the middle school for the 2013-14 school year.

There is no measure of whether testing students reduces drug use. The schools that do testing rely on anecdotal evidence.

North Bend plans to compare test results from the state's student wellness survey and to look at overall grade averages, attendance and dropout rates.

'If we save 11/2 students from dropping out," Reid said, 'we've paid for the whole program."

Reporter Jessie Higgins can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or jhiggins@theworldlink.com.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(18) Comments

  1. Bluedaisy
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    Bluedaisy - August 15, 2012 8:55 pm
    I was very upset when my child continually came home from NBHS begging to be home schooled. Their complaint was that the classes after lunch had kids jacked up on energy drinks and/or smelling like pot. The teachers were unable to control the students, so the noise in the class made it hard to focus and caused headaches. When friends and teammates started using, my child became even more angry with the lack of action from Administration. They will not be attending NBHS until it is cleaned up.
  2. Sujameco
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    Sujameco - August 15, 2012 12:11 pm
    So no money can be found in the NBSD budget for needed school nurses, but a bit can be located to waste on this hollow gesture, which will accomplish nothing of value for our students. Hollensteiner's trained school board has done it to us again.
  3. flit
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    flit - August 15, 2012 9:49 am
    Now my question is....if a school district can implement this kind of a program, why on earth can't the State of Oregon implement this same program to their welfare recipients? The recipients can also look it as, "I have something to lose, I am not going to use drugs!"
  4. CoosBayPatriot
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    CoosBayPatriot - August 15, 2012 9:06 am
    It is about time that the schools do this. I think it should be a Staff/Student Lottery where a list is generated every week/month and the School Board Admin will be the one to issue the lists for the tests.
  5. RedHairedMaiden
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    RedHairedMaiden - August 14, 2012 7:01 pm
    This is ridiculous. As a band student, I'm completely offended. What a waste of money that could be put towards something else.. But, since they're already wasting it, why not test EVERYONE? Not just kids in extracurricular activities. I can list off about 50 students who aren't involved in anything that "use" something (one of them is even addicted to Vicodin). The school had better be prepared to lose a lot of athletes. It's quite a shame they can't test for alcohol.
  6. Bulldog_79
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    Bulldog_79 - August 14, 2012 4:01 pm
    This is about turning the next generation into mindless sheeple performing any task or test put before them by the government. Test for reasonable suspicion that can be articulated by at least two properly trained observers. We should drug test everybody on welfare or any public assistance before we do something like this to the kids.
  7. fedup2
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    fedup2 - August 14, 2012 4:00 pm
    I do not have a problem with the drug testing. BUT, do not just test the students going out for sports, etc. Start at the top with the top dog, then the teachers, then all the students. Afterall it has been proven over and over the higher ups and the teachers use as many drugs, or more, than the students. If anyone is found to be using drugs, no matter who you are, fire them or if it is a student, kick them out of school until they complete a drug program.
  8. Bulldog_79
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    Bulldog_79 - August 14, 2012 3:28 pm
    How about a lie detector test for faculty to see if they are having sexual relations with students? They have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. I still say Bill Lucero slept through Steve Gulley's classes when they were talking about the Constitution.
  9. Local Lady
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    Local Lady - August 14, 2012 2:24 pm
    There are a lot of kids who do not abuse, who will feel singled out for this. That's not what this is about. Plain and simple, those who use should not be extended the privilege of participating in school activities if they are only going to abuse their bodies and disrespect their teammates with that kind of trash. This is not about search/seizure or invasion of privacy, this is about teaching self-respect and showing young people that if you choose to "play" you'll have to pay. I find it smart.
  10. rodman
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    rodman - August 14, 2012 2:21 pm
    Well they better start at the top, look in all the teachers and admin decks for there "Hidden" Bottle. Make sure you piss test EVERY ONE EMPLOYED by NBSD. What's fair is fair for ALL, Not just the kids. I see teachers driving under the influence, whats their penalty? Nothing, Also the school board better to get ready to drop their undies as well. Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.
  11. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - August 14, 2012 1:21 pm
    I'm in favor of decriminalizing drugs and legalizing pot. That being said, I never had any objection to my kids being tested while being athletes at MHS. As I told them, "You can get as stoned and drunk as you want as soon as you move out of the house and turn 21." I understand the shortcomings of drug testing, but there's a problem if your kid can't pass one.
  12. beamoburbank
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    beamoburbank - August 14, 2012 11:44 am
    Yeah, great way to get a true test of the kids who use drugs--go after the ones who show some initiative, and some interest in their school.
    Seems to me like Coos County is out to perpetuate the drug problems, instead of alleviate them. Isn't that what supports most of the economy around here?
    Recidivism rate is deplorable--but only to those who do not stand to profit from it (law enforcement, courts, lawyers, probation officers etc. etc. etc.
  13. Oncorhynchus
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    Oncorhynchus - August 14, 2012 11:24 am
    I sure hope that the school board is planning to random test every employee: licensed, classified, & administration as well, at different unannounced points throughout the year. You know..."Lead by Example" sort of thing!
  14. Brazen Or Just Stupid
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    Brazen Or Just Stupid - August 14, 2012 10:31 am
    I see, North Bend schools are pro sit on your backside & play video games, eat greasy cheese burgers & smoke dope. While for example, athletes who are conscious of nutrition, have to pass their classes to play & whom engage in vigorous physical activity are scrutinized as druggies. Makes perfect sense to me. How about a Pee Test to enter the classroom? Be non discriminatory, require all students & parents of students to take a Pee Test. Free babysitting for all parents who can pass a Pee Test!
  15. Scribbler
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    Scribbler - August 14, 2012 10:04 am
    According our schools sweeping power to conduct unwarranted searches of bodily fluids is well beyond the pale of our social compact and a violation of our children, and their parents' unalienable rights to be secure in their persons.
  16. Justice for All
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    Justice for All - August 14, 2012 8:39 am
    This anti-liberty policy won't ensure that kids are "straight." Almost every drug, other than marijuana, leaves the system within a matter of days (or a matter of hours for alcohol, the #1 drug abused by teens). What decade is the North Bend school district stuck in?

  17. DHCollins
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    DHCollins - August 14, 2012 8:37 am
    So are you also going to test for alcohol? Nicotine? Red Bull? Yes or no? I object to this because this is not what we pay you for. Your job is to educate. All you're doing with this is teaching them how to live under somebody else's thumb. It's behavior modification based on an invasive test done out of fear rather than probable cause. You've put the cart before the horse. And you think yourselves "educated"? x
  18. LoveMy2Bulldogs
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    LoveMy2Bulldogs - August 13, 2012 9:16 pm
    Brave school board, but yes, its long over due. If they want to play, they better be straight or pay the price. Good lesson for starting out in the adult world, since most good jobs require drug testing.
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