PAMPA, TX (KFDA) - If you ever thought you would never need a drug test to be in a school play, or even join the debate team -- that's all in the past for Pampa ISD. The district will be putting in place a new drug testing policy that will be for all students looking to participate in extracurricular activities.
"If they are going to be representing Pampa ISD in some type of competition or activity or event, we are going to have them engage in this process," said Pampa ISD superintendent Tanya Larkin.
The idea came from newly appointed high school principal, Hugh Piatt. He says he has seen this drug testing program succeed in other districts and wants to bring it to Pampa. The idea was approved earlier this week by the district board of trustees.
"People assume the worse and think all kids are on drugs," said Piatt. "We're looking to do two things. One, show that we're not. Two, we help give our kids a reason to say no. So that they don't have to succumb to that peer pressure of falling into that trap."
The district is currently calling different agencies who will work best with their plan. Piatt says he would like to see random drug testing every month, but it depends on the district's budget.
"Somewhere in the neighborhood of about $15 a test," said Piatt. "We assume that about 1,000 test to start with."
"It always depends on your numbers and how often you want to test. We are looking around the range of $20,000-25,000," said Larkin.
Both Piatt and Larkin say this isn't a plan designed to find students abusing drugs, but rather a preventative plan to make them more successful.
"It's about being able to do something that's positive for yourself. Something that doesn't lead to something negative, like addiction," said Paitt. "We're just trying to be proactive, keep our kids from injury. Give them the best opportunity to be successful."
The drug testing plan will be for 7th graders- 12th grade and will be implemented in August.