FARMINGTON -- High school athletes, cheerleaders, drill team members and student body officers may have to consent to random drug testing when the new school year begins in August.
Davis School District officials began looking at a random-drug-testing proposal after parents, coaches and administrators said they were concerned about possible drug use among those who participate in extracurricular activities, said John Robison, the district's health lifestyle director.
The proposed policy will be presented to the Davis School Board for a first reading at its Tuesday board meeting, said Shauna Lund, the district's community relations specialist.
Robison presented a proposed policy -- drafted by a committee of parents, coaches, school administrators and athletic directors -- to the board at a Feb. 5 workshop meeting.
The proposal was again presented at the March 5 workshop meeting.
Districts that currently do random drug testing are Box Elder, Ogden, Weber, Rich and Murray, Robison said.
Each test would cost the district $15 to $16. The district plans to do 40 tests, or five students per high school, each week at a cost of $25,000 for the school year, he said.
The four groups -- athletes, cheerleaders, drill team members and student body officers -- were chosen not necessarily because of any belief that drug use is high, but because students in those groups tend to be involved in other extracurricular activities such as band, orchestra, drama and choir, Robison said.
In Weber School District, all students involved in any extracurricular activity knows there is a chance they will be selected for a drug test, said Nate Taggart, district spokesman.
Weber has been randomly testing students at all of its high schools for the past five years. The cost of the drug tests comes out of the fees students pay.
"Very few kids test positive, and those kids who do test positive, we work with them -- and it also is an incentive for other kids to stay away from any of the illegal substances," Taggart said.
Robison said the goal of the program is not to be as "a sting," but to act as intervention and get help for those students using illegal drugs, including illegal use of prescriptions or enhancement drugs.
If students make a team or are elected as student body officers, they and their parents will sign a consent form stating they understand that random drug testing will occur during the year, he said.
If a student tests positive, the school administrator will contact parents, according to the proposed policy.
The first time students test positive, they will be suspended from two games, meets, matches, events or performances, but will still be allowed to practice or meet with their group.
If there is a second positive test, the student will be suspended for six weeks from games, meets or competitions, and the student will be required to get some intervention.
The student will be allowed to practice with the group only after an assessment has been completed and a clean drug has been provided.
Parents are responsible for the cost of assessment and testing.
The third time a student produces a positive drug test, the student is suspended for 18 weeks from all practices, games, meets and competitions.
The student can only get back on the team at the end of the 18 weeks, and only after completing a formal assessment, intervention and treatment program, plus provide a clean drug test, according to the proposed policy.
Tests will be conducted for a number of substances, including methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, ecstasy and pharmaceutical-strength steroids.