Trustees study tougher penalties for drug use

By Ken Esten Cooke

 

In light of the spring overdose tragedy of a Fredericksburg High School student, school trustees are mulling changes to the student code of conduct.

On Monday, Fredericksburg Independent School District Supt. Marc Williamson made suggestions to the board of trustees to strengthen what he said is a proactive policy. Trustees will study the suggestions and potentially offer others to adopt at their next meeting.

Continuing and expanding the district’s use of drug dogs and drug testing of students is an option. New tests could be expanded to include more drugs, Williamson said, though costs must be weighed against the benefits.

The district also will consider upgrading its Crime Stoppers program, a partnership with the local community crime prevention organization. That would let students offer anonymous tips to increase policing of drug use.

The district also plans to provide additional information to parents of Fredericksburg High School students about student drug use at its student-parent orientation and informational meeting. This meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Aug. 19, in the FHS Auditorium, and will include information from local law enforcement officials and high school counselors.

“We’re hoping to get more parents there than normal to talk about things that are relevant at this time,” said FHS Principal Ralf Halderman.

Consequences also may be strengthened, and Williamson suggested positive tests lead to an entire season of missed extra-curricular activities, including if a student tests positive in his activity’s “off-season.” An athlete who plays football only, but tests positive in April, would not be allowed to play the following year.

Lastly, trustees may commission a study of how a closed high school campus — forbidding students to leave for lunch — might have an effect on drug use.

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