UPDATE: Bonham ISD approves stricter drug testing policy - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

UPDATE: Bonham ISD approves stricter drug testing policy

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BONHAM -- The Bonham school board voted Monday night to approve a revised drug testing policy.

The new drug testing policy builds on the policy already in place at Bonham ISD.

In addition to marijuana and cocaine, it allows the district to test for alcohol, steroids, ecstasy, synthetic marijuana, bath salts and certain prescription drugs.

"I think it's good that they're going to test them to make sure they're all okay so everybody can be safe," grandmother Debbie Jernigan said.

The district began implementing a drug test policy last fall but decided to revise it this year after hearing feedback from students, faculty and police.

"We noticed that we were not testing for enough drugs," assistant superintendent Kelly Trompler said. "We were not testing for some of the newer drugs that kids were using."

The policy requires students in grades 7-12 who want to participate in extra-curricular activities to pass a drug test.

It also subjects them to random drug testing during the school year.

But the rules don't only apply to athletes. "If you're in ready writing, one-act play, band, ag, any extra-curricular activity you will be tested and you are subject to random testing," superintendent Dr. Marvin Beaty said.

The new policy also allows a hair follicle samples to be used for testing.

The first positive test would result in a 60-day suspension from the activity.

A second results in a 120-day suspension and a third would result in a suspension from all extra-curricular activities for the rest of the students time at the district.

Students are also given the option of doing a certain amount of community service hours to help them get re-instated. They must also pass a drug test.

"We want to help kids. That's what we do," Dr. Beaty said.

Dr. Beaty says the goal is to detect a drug problem early on so students never have to face much harsher punishment later in life.

"You can lose your home, your family, your freedom," Dr. Beaty said. "The world has much tougher consequences than we do. So we're simply trying to get you help if you're moving down the wrong road."

Bonham ISD students go back to school August 25. The policy goes into effect this semester.