Battle Mountain students will be drug tested | VailDaily.com
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Battle Mountain students will be drug tested

Matt TerrellVAIL, CO COLORADO

EAGLE Random drug testing will begin next school year for students at Battle Mountain High School.School leaders say drug and alcohol use is a serious problem at Battle Mountain, and drug testing will be a a away to deter substance abuse and help students battling addiction find help. The Board of Education approved the drug testing program Wednesday.Students involved in extra-curricular activities sports would be subject to the random drug testing. With more than 75 percent of the students at Battle Mountain involved in extra curricular activities, a testing policy would effect a lot of students, leaders say.The goal, along with getting help for students who are using drugs, is really to deter substance abuse all together.Athletics and competition are very important to many students, and the possibility of being caught using drugs and letting down the team gives students a way to battle peer pressure, Principal Brian Hester has said.For students who test positive for drug use, the school will provide a way to quickly get them help and get them clean. A Student Assistance Program will be created to assess a students problem, provide counseling and find appropriate treatment.The Student Assistance Program would have a full time director and would be a resource available to all students not just for those who test positive on the random testing. It would be a place where students could seek confidential help without fear of punishment, school leaders say.When teachers notice emotional problems or signs of drug and alcohol use with their students, theyll have a place to send them. Students worried about their friends would also have a place to find help, and students who realize on their own that they have a problem would have a place to go without fear of being punished, school leaders say.Confidentiality will be very important, and teachers will be trained to make sure that students who are referred to the program wont feel like theyre being compromised. The idea is to get them help before they get into trouble.The program will cost at least $60,000 to fund and staff the Student Assistance Program.Students who test positive for drugs or are caught using by school officials or law enforcement will face serious consequences, such as suspension from school and athletics and even expulsion.The drug testing policy was created by the Battle Mountain High School Drug Task Force, which was made up of a large group of educators and community members. The policy was presented to the Board of Education Wednesday, and could go to a vote at the next meeting.Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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