Dexter Schools considers drug testing students in extra-curricular activities

New Mexico News

DEXTER, N.M. (KRQE) – Dexter Consolidated Schools is proposing a new drug-use policy for all students in grades 6-12 who participate in NMAA sanctioned athletics and activities. It would allow them to test kids all calendar year for alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics.

Students who play sports or are involved in activities like band or drama will have to sign a form at the beginning of the year consenting to the testing.

“It’ll get the athletes who want to play that choice to either go with that life or to choose to play sports and not do it,” said former Dexter High football player Jonathan Trujillo.

The superintendent could approve up to ten drug tests per school year. Selection for testing would be random unless the school has reasonable suspicion, or a student or parent reports drug use.

If found in violation of the policy, a student will be suspended for a part of their current season and undergo mandatory counseling on the first offense.

After the second offense, the student would be ineligible for the school year, plus mandatory counseling. After the third, the student would be suspended from all activities or sports for the rest of their time at Dexter Schools.

“I think it’s a good idea. I don’t know how effective it’ll be, but I hope it is,” said Luz Torres, a parent of a Dexter High athlete.

The superintendent declined an interview, but the policy implies that school is an extension of the student’s home and community life, so they share the responsibility to keep kids away from drugs and alcohol.

Students who choose against participating in extra-curricular activities at the beginning of the year, then change their minds later on, will not be able to until they have completed a drug test.

KRQE News 13 also reached out to the NMAA to see how many schools around the state have implemented a similar policy, but they declined to comment as well, stating that’s solely up to the schools and doesn’t involve them.

The school board will discuss the policy at a meeting on July 8.

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