NORMAN — Norman High and Norman North students who participate in OSSAA sanctioned extracurricular activities will now be subject to random drug testing, it was decided Monday night at a Norman Public School Board meeting.
The board voted unanimously to institute the plan, which will test approximately 60 students monthly from both high schools for several drugs, including marijuana, alcohol and opioids.
Compliance Resource Group, an outside testing agency, will begin randomly selecting students to participate in oral fluid tests starting the first week of school in August.
“The focus of the policy is on prevention, deterrence and intervention,” NPS Chief Operating Officer Justin Milner said. “We want to give our students an out when they face choices regarding drugs and alcohol, and we certainly want to provide students and families resources for intervention and treatment if there is ongoing use or abuse.”
An initial offense will incur a conference between the student, their parents and the school principal. A drug assessment would then be required for the student to continue participating in their extracurricular activity.
Those who test positive a second time will be subject to a two-week long suspension from their activity and mandatory drug counseling, to be paid for by the student or their parent.
Three or more offenses will cause the offending student to be suspended from their sport or activity for the remainder of the school year.
Refusal of testing will be treated as equivalent to a first positive result.
Students will not face any academic consequences, such as out-of-school suspension, as a result of a positive test. Testing results will not be forwarded to law enforcement, with records of positive testing results being destroyed yearly.
Several community members spoke out against the policy, saying it could disproportionately target minorities and families who cannot afford to pay for drug counseling.
In response, Milner told the audience and board members that all students, regardless of race or what activity they participate in, would be entered into the same pool of approximately 4,000 students.
In a special school board meeting on June 27, Milner said school officials would be willing to work with students and families who cannot afford drug counseling.