The Nixa School Board recently expanded the district’s drug screening policy to include students seeking on-campus parking permits for the 2008-2009 school year.
According to information from Nixa’s Zac Rantz, spokesperson for the district, the option to expand the random drug screens has always been on the table.
He also said that Nixa began the drug screenings of athletes and those involved in some extra-curricular activities.
The present cost of the screens is $13 per student and is taken out of the student’s athletic fee; it is a four-panel screen that marks opiate and marijuana use through urine sample.
Opiates include the narcotic alkaloids found in opium—such as morphine and codeine, hydrocodone; marijuana is of course, pot.
Next year the test will screen for other kinds of drugs, but Rantz didn’t know exactly what drugs. And, as far as he knows the school district does not screen for meth or alcohol.
* Updated: Rantz said today, April 25, that the test does screen for meth. Alcohol doesn’t stay in the blood long enough to be identified in urine samples, but brethalyzers are used when a student is suspected of alcohol consumption.
The school district has been doing the random drug screens, that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional as long as they are random, for about six years.
The random screens are conducted about six to 10 times a year and affect about 18-20 students each time, Rantz said.
How many positive screens has the hunt turned up since its inception six years ago? Not one, Rantz said.
“As far as I know there havd been no positives up to this point,” he said.