GARLAND -- With district drug testing under fire from parents, the school board is considering rewording its policy to make the procedure less intrusive.
The policy was criticized during the last school board meeting, when parents and teachers expressed their feeling that students should not have to prove their innocence. They also were uncomfortable with the fact that sample collecting was to be "observed."
The district drug policy came out of requests by administrators after rumors surfaced of drug abuse by some sports teams. The district approved a drug-testing policy in July.
Students who participate in extracurricular activities in the Box Elder and Bear River high schools will now be asked to pay a $20 fee and agree to submit to random drug testing.
In a district work session Wednesday night at Garland Elementary School, a representative from Bear River Health Department read a letter supporting the district's efforts to curb drug use, and vouching for the professional and clinical way the tests are observed by medical personnel.
Parents at the meeting were still passionate about having the word "observed" taken out of the policy.
Superintendent Steven Laing asked board members to accommodate parents' concerns without stripping the policy of its value as a deterrent to drug use.
A possible definition for the word "observed" was, "Students will be watched as they empty all pockets, turning the pocket inside and out if possible, remove all coats, jackets, sweaters and other extra clothing layers, set aside all backpacks, purses, books or other carried items, accept the sample collection cup from the health worker, enter the stall in which the water of the toilet has been dyed, close the door of the stall, provide the sample while the health care worker waits outside of the stall, and return the sample to the health care worker."
No action could be taken because the meeting was only a work session. It will be discussed for approval at the Nov. 11 board meeting.