Beatrice High School will test students in extracurricular activ - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Beatrice High School will test students in extracurricular activities for drugs, alcohol

Beatrice High School will test students in extracurricular activities for drugs, alcohol

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Beginning this fall, any student participating in extracurricular activities at Beatrice High School will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

Principal Bob Sexton says recent studies and statistics showing the benefits of the testing helped make the decision.

"This is nothing about catching kids that are doing some wrong or illegal, it's about student safety," Sexton said. 

"We want to educate our kids on it - the risks of drugs and alcohol. Peer pressure is pretty influential and this is just another opportunity for our kids to say 'no.'"

The program will cost around $3,000-5,000 dollars a year.

 It's not just for sports - it applies to all extracurricular activities, including cheer leading, band and speech.

The tests involve taking breath, saliva or urine samples which are sent to a lab.

The tests are kept confidential from students and teachers.

Administrators, as well as the students and parents are only notified if a test comes back positive.

Consequences for a positive test only apply to activities, and do not carry over into the classroom - and law enforcement is not notified.

"I just want to be real clear that this is no punishment academically, and no legal involvement," Sexton said. 

Sexton says the hope for the program is to undermine peer pressure and get students help if they need it.

"We want our students involved in extracurricular activities," he said.

"We find they're better students if they're involved in extracurricular, we feel they're getting a better overall education when they walk out our doors, and this is a real world experience."

Sexton says nearly all the feedback the school has received on this has been positive.

Drug and alcohol testing students is a growing trend around the state. 

 The Fairbury Board of Education approved a similar policy this week as well.

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