Drug testing rejected | SierraSun.com

Drug testing rejected

Mandatory drug testing of high school athletes will not be implemented by the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District after a unanimous vote by the school board on Oct. 5.

But drug and alcohol prevention will remain an important issue to the board.

“I hope this isn’t a dead issue,” said Kevin Coleman, a teacher at Tahoe Truckee High School. “It’s more about leadership than it is management.”

During an informational presentation, students, doctors and teachers spoke out against the proposal of mandatory drug testing at the Sept. 21 school board meeting.

Students felt the drug testing was unfair because it singled out athletes.

“We are educators, not a police department,” said Suzanne Prouty, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District school board president.

The board also learned on Sept. 21 that with drug testing it was almost impossible to catch alcohol abuse.

“It doesn’t catch the most prevalent drug, which is alcohol,” said Prouty.

The board discussed the possibility of implementing a program that would offer incentives to students that remained drug- and alcohol-free. No specifics on this type of program were decided on. The board will discuss programs at future meetings.

“We need to figure out a way to get the community’s awareness up,” said Superintendent Pat Gemma.

Although the motion on drug testing failed, the board continued to ask themselves how can they promote staying drug free.

Gustafson continued by asking other board members if they could possibly work out some sort of night programs with the parks and recreation department or incentive programs to keep students away from drugs and alcohol.

“I don’t want this to drop here,” Gustafson said.

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