Thu., 8:47am: Drug testing, pay-to-play in store for South Range

GREENFORD – The South Range school board Monday instituted participation fees and drug testing for next year and approved a contract for the retiring superintendent.

The board approved the two new policies presented by Superintendent Dennis Dunham last month. The drug and alcohol testing will be used beginning Aug. 1 to promote the health and safety of students and undermine peer pressure and will be used for all students participating in athletics at the middle and high school levels and all students participating in extracurricular activities or applying for a parking permit at the high school level. Random testing will also be conducted throughout the year.

The testing will be funded through donations from private individuals at no cost to the district.

In the event of a violation the penalties range from suspension from 10 percent of games for the first offense to a year suspension from games for a third offense for athletics; completion of an assessment program and two-week activity suspension for the first offense to permanent exclusion for a third offense for extracurriculars; and one month revocation for the first offense and one-year ban for a third offense for parking permits.

The participation fees are expected to generate approximately $60,000 to help cover costs for travel and supplemental advising and coaching contracts. The fee schedule will be $100 for the year for as many sports as a student chooses, with a maximum of $175 for families with two or more students. Co- and extracurricular activities will be proportionate to the cost of travel and advising, including $40 for band, $20 for drama and choir, $40 for speech and $30 for academic challenge. Students participating in sports and extracurricular activities will have to pay both fees.