Bonham ISD may enforce a stricter drug testing policy

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BONHAM, TX - Bonham ISD administrators want a stricter drug test policy for students participating in extra curricular activities.

Bonham Jr. high and high school students might have to pass stricter drug tests soon, in order to participate in any extra curricular activities.

"It is a reaction to the fact that we had very little positive testing last year. Which means, either our kids are absolutely clean, or we didn't cast a broad enough net," said Bonham ISD superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty.

These drugs are included in the districts current policy: amphetamines, tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), benzodiazepine, marijuana, cocaine, methaqualone and opiates - codeine, heroin, morphine, and papaverine.

Wwe compared it to other schools like Denison ISD, which has a similar policy: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, phencyclidine (PCP), methadone, barbiturates, propoxyphene, and all prescription drugs upon reasonable suspicion that they were obtained without authorization.

"So many drugs that are being abused are not the traditional back street back alley kind of drugs, they're prescription drugs..often the kind that you'd find in your parents medicine chest," said Dr. Beaty.

He says the new policy will go to the Board for vote in August, and would include tests for: alcohol, steroids, phencyclidine, barbiturates, Ecstasy, synthetic marijuana, methadone, propoxyphene and bath salts.

"The goal isn't to bust them or get them in trouble, it's to get them help," said Dr. Beaty.

"This drug test might change things for the better. But it also can end up bad, if nobody ends up doing anything it's a waste of money," said Bonham High School sophomore Jett Peeler.

Dr. Beaty tells us the Board has already allowed a generous increase in funds for drug testing. Under the proposed policy, students would be tested at the beginning of the year, and would also be subject to random testing.

"There's so many prescription drugs and different problems going on right now that we just want to make sure that we do the right test, the right way, and if a kid is doing something that's not healthy for them, we get them help," said Bonham ISD Athletic director Cody Bounds.

Under the proposed policy, if a student is arrested by law enforcement for possession of drugs, that will also count as a failed drug test for the school.

The new policy goes before the board of trustees for approval on August 18th.

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