NEWS RELEASE
GALENA PARK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Communications Department
14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, TX 77015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2008
CONTACT: Craig Eichhorn
(832) 386-1231
ceichhorn@galenaparkisd.com

TRUSTEES APPROVE RANDOM DRUG TESTING OF STUDENTS

           Galena Park ISD is enacting random student drug testing for all students in grades 9-12 who participate or intend to participate in school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities beginning in the 2008-2009 school year.
           GPISD Trustees unanimously adopted the policy during the July 14 Board of Trustees meeting. The district was previously notified that it received a Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
           Dr. Mark Henry, superintendent of schools, said trustees felt that this policy is a proactive measure to help maintain a drug-free environment for all students.
           “The use of illegal drugs poses serious health and safety risks to our students,” Henry said. “This policy is not intended to be punitive in nature, but it should serve as a deterrent to the use of illegal drugs and to provide students with yet another reason to resist peer pressure.”
           The policy states that a written parent consent form, including both parent and student signatures, is required before a student is eligible to participate in school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities. Participation in school-sponsored competitive extracurricular activities is a privilege and not a right; refusal to consent to random drug testing will result in the denial of participation in the identified extracurricular activity. Participation is defined to include practice, competition, and involvement in events.
           Students will be chosen for testing by a computer-generated random selection process conducted by a contracted drug-testing vendor. Any student identified for random testing for a given date but whom, because of illness or any other legitimate reason, leaves school before the test is performed shall be included in the next random screen. Refusal on the part of any student to participate in a scheduled or random test shall be considered as a positive result.
          Students who are not involved in extracurricular activities but would still like to be tested may volunteer to be placed in the random drug-testing pool with a signed parental consent form.

Drug testing will include, but not be limited to, the following substances:

• Amphetamines/Methamphetamines (stimulant; speed, diet pills, uppers)
• Cocaine metabolite (central nervous system stimulant; crank, crystal)
• Opiates (pain killer; Oxycodone, Darvocet, Vicodin)
• Cannabinoid (depressant; Marijuana)
• Barbiturates (depressant, downer, sleeping pills; Amytal, Butisol)
• Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medication; Valium, Xanax, Librium)
• Ethanol (depressant; Alcohol)
• Hallucinogens (perception alteration; shrooms, mescline, acid, LSD)
• Phencyclidine (anesthetic, hallucinogen; PCP, angel dust)

           Testing will be conducted through scientific means using approved practices and procedures established by the contracted drug-testing vendor and Galena Park ISD administration. The testing will be accomplished by urinalysis.
           Students will be chosen for testing by a computer generated random selection process conducted by a contracted drug testing vendor. Student’s names will be given to the designated school official, which will arrange for these students to report to the collection area. An adult will escort students to an isolated facility under the supervision of an official of the same sex who will monitor the testing.
Students will provide a urine sample in a restroom or other private facility in a closed stall. Neither the supervising official nor the testing representative will directly observe the student providing a urine sample. The urine sample will be collected in a sealed specimen collection container. The student will provide the collected sample to the testing representative.
           The urine sample will then be divided into two parts in the student’s presence. Sample A will be used for the initial testing while Sample B will be frozen and reserved for outside testing in the event of a challenge of the positive test result by the student or parent/guardian. All costs associated with testing the second half of the sample will be the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian.
          Students who receive a first time positive result will be suspended from participating in extracurricular activities for two weeks from the date of the positive test. Those students will be referred for substance abuse counseling and will also be required to test again at bi-weekly intervals. These counseling sessions provided an opportunity for parents to intervene and obtain any help that may be needed for their child.
           Students who test positive a second time will be suspended from participating in extracurricular activities for four weeks from the date of the positive test. Those students will be referred for substance abuse counseling and will also be required to test again.
           Students who receive a positive result for the third time will be suspended from participating in extracurricular activities for the remainder of the year and possibly the next school term. Those students will be referred for substance abuse counseling and will also be required to test again.