Random drug testing for student athletes

Random drug testing for student athletes

Liddy Thies, Staff Writer

Random drug testing for student athletes could start as early as September or October of next year. However, many important questions have been brought up at school board meetings. Medina’s athletic director, Mr. Harrison, has been attempting to educate the public and answer questions.

A decision will be made by the earliest of June this year. The school will give our athletes three months notice before the program will actually begin. Another big decision to be made is whether or not the test should be done for just athletes or for every extra curricular event at Medina High School.

A list of serial numbers will be made by a computer system. Random numbers from the list will be selected depending on what teams and what percentage of those teams is being tested. Students are notified and they will be tested within 12 hours. Mr. Harrison stresses that the test will not be done during school, and that they will not take away from the children’s education.

Tests would be done through urine samples. If randomly selected, the student would be given a cup and sent alone into a locker room where the only other person would be a licensed tester of the same sex. The athletes would be given absolute privacy in a stall to gather the specimen. Two samples would be provided so that the company has a backup in case a student wants to dispute their results.

An overall consensus of coaches, parents, and athletes see this testing as a deterrent.  Mr. Harrison said that, “ In my experience, there’s been many times where I’ve sat across the desk from an athlete who was put into a situation of peer pressure and feel as though they have to do it, so we want random drug testing to be used as a tool for them to stop and think how to get out of the situation.”

When asked how she felt about the random drug testing, sophomore student athlete Kathryn Cassidy responded, “Students will take their sports more seriously, and it could protect the safety of our athletes. I do believe it could offer a lot for our athletic department and prevent kids from first trying drugs.”

Although Mr. Harrison is receiving a great deal of positive feedback from the community, he cannot say with certainty that it will pass. There are still many questions, and issues to discuss.

To see more of the commonly asked questions visit http://medinaathletics.com/2015/05/11/5715-community-meeting-faqs/