Boone Apache School to enforce mandatory drug testing

A shocked parent from Apache contacted 7News about a letter their child brought home.  It was from Superintendent Jim Hooper; he sent the letter Wednesday to parents of students from the seventh grade up.

It states that in January, there will be mandatory drug testing for every student who drives to school campuses and all students who participate in extracurricular activities.  7News wanted to know why the Superintendent made the decision and if it was even legal?

The answer to the second question is, yes.  A supreme court decided it was legal when a Tecumsah, Oklahoma student and the school district went before the court.  They approved drug testing within certain boundaries in the guidelines of the Tecumsah policy - but, it is not legal to test the entire school as a whole.

"This is to help kids, not to punish them," says Hooper.  He says the school is starting the drug testing to help the kids make better choices.  The testing pool will be 7th through 12th graders participating in any school activity or athletic group.

7News couldn't find any outraged parents or students willing to talk to us, but those who agreed with the new policy had no problem giving their opinions.  Those who are in favor of the drug testing say drug use is definitely a problem in Apache and more than anything, some teens may be bothered by it because they'll may be caught, now.  "I really don't want to be known around here as the school where everyone is on drugs and I think this is one way to stop that," says Sarah Farley.

School officials say they just want to help kid stay away from drugs.  "We believe it will really help these children make better decisions," says Hooper.  "And we believe are children are worth that."

The bottom line, now, will be represented by a parent or guardian's signature.  Parents must sign the form and return it to Boone Apache Schools.  If the parent or guardian doesn't agree to the testing, their child will not be able to participate in a competitive sport, extra curricular activities or drive on campus.  Clinton, Hobart, Weatherford, Cyril and Cement public schools also participate in this mandatory drug testing.