Texas High School Students Subject to Random Drug, Alcohol Testing

Hundreds of students in Marble Falls will now be subjected to alcohol testing at school. In addition to illegal drugs, the Marble Falls Independent School District is looking for teens who have been drinking and it doesn't even have to be on campus.

Since 2002, seventh through 12th graders have been tested for marijuana and other illegal drugs.
Students who participate in extracurricular activities or use parking stickers to park on campus are affected by the new policy.

It includes two mandatory tests and four random ones.

Albert Gonzales and his two daughters are OK with the policy.

"To me, they're just kids,” Gonzales said. “I can't see any school kids drinking any kind of beer or smoking cigarettes or anything like that. That's why they're hear, to learn."

Gonzales' 9th grader, Terah Buck, likes it.

"I don't drink, I don't approve of drinking, I wouldn't take one sip if I had to, if I had a choice, I'd say no."

Gonzales' other daughter, 12-year-old seventh grader, Yvonne, also likes the new policy.

"Well, I think it's fair because you can't really do your best on the court if you're intoxicated and under the influence."

Marble Falls resident, Kevin Eldredge, disagrees.

"The law allows parents to serve their children alcohol so the fact that they're testing doesn't necessarily mean they've been doing it without permission."

Marble Falls Independent School District Safe and Drug Schools Coordinator, Carl Coleman says there is a problem with drugs and alcohol use.

That's why the district can justify spending $35,000 every year.

"We look at this as an avenue for them to make good choices. I would rather sing in the choir, I would rather play basketball or whatever their activity is,” said Coleman.

Coleman says even if parents allow their kids to drink, which is legal, the students must still test negative the past 80 hours or else.

"This is a policy that we're setting forward, we're going to test them for alcohol and hold them accountable for them. We're not going to turn them over to the law, we're not going to file a criminal case on them or anything like,” Coleman.

The nine-panel drug test costs about $13 per student. The alcohol test costs $18.

If a student tests positive the first time, he or she will miss 20 percent of activities, and go through five hours of counseling.

If it's a parking issue only, the student can't park on campus for 10 school days.

A second violation, the student misses 50 percent of activities, undergo 10 hours of counseling, and can't park on campus for 30 days.

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