Drug testing PAHS students under review
Port Aransas schools are another step closer to adopting a drug-testing program for students.
The Port Aransas Independent School District Board of Trustees on Thursday, March 13, directed Superintendent Billy Wiggins to put together a plan for establishing a voluntary drug-testing program and reinvigorating the district's Student Health Advisory Committee.
Trustees held no vote but called on Wiggins by general consensus to move forward with his recommendations to create the drug-testing program and reorganize the committee.
Wiggins said he will seek additional folks from around the community to join the already-existing committee. He said he plans to encourage the entire group to come up with recommendations on how to keep students away from drugs and alcohol.
The question of whether to create a drug-testing program at PAISD has drawn more public comment than any other issue in recent memory, with some speaking out in favor and others against. No community members, however, spoke on the matter at the school board meeting March 13.
More than one trustee praised Wiggins for the plan he put together. None spoke against it.
The voluntary testing program would test only the students of parents who, in writing, approve testing their children.
Wiggins said his plan wouldn't include punishment but would seek help including counseling for students who test positive. He said students involved in athletics likely would be suspended from those activities. That wouldn't be for punishment but to prevent students from suffering a health setback due to the combination of drugs and physical exertion, he said.
The tests would be done through urinalysis, Wiggins said.
The drug-testing program and the work of the Student Health Advisory Committee would be directed at PAHS, Wiggins said. But he said he is "wide-open" to applying those efforts toward Brundrett Middle School later, if there is a need.
Wiggins said he expects trustees to hold a formal vote by mid-summer on whether to enact the drug-testing program.