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Butler Schools to start drug testing this fall

Only voluntary activities will be subject to testing

July 16, 2018 News Extra

The Butler School Board voted 8-1 to approve the new drug testing policy. Starting this upcoming school year, athletes and student drivers will be subject to random drug testing.

Athletes and student drivers in the Butler School District will soon be subject to random drug testing.

Monday night, the Butler School Board voted 8-1 to implement a drug testing policy modeled after existing policies in the Mars and Seneca Valley school districts.

Solicitor Tom King said Mars implemented a policy on a similar timeline to Butler, and that the drug testing in Butler should begin this school year.

Much remains to be done in the meantime. The school needs to put out a formal request from vendors for pricing plans.

Superintendent Brian White said the tests will likely be about $30. The district has set aside $10,000 in its general fund for the testing, he said.

The Butler Eagle incorrectly reported over the weekend that parents will be responsible for paying for the drug tests. The district will pay for the tests.

If a student fails that first test — which is paid for by the district — and is booted from a privilege such as driving or playing football, the parents would have to pay for any subsequent tests to have the student regain eligibility, the new policy states.

The policy demands drug testing only from voluntary student activities that aren't related to grades. Sports and driving are included, but not band, which is a class. King said that stipulation makes the rule comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the subject. The decision also specifies that the district cannot test all of its students universally, he said.

Read more in Tuesday's Butler Eagle about the vote and the policy.