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Officials consider expanding drug tests at Davis School District after program’s first year

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Posted at 9:49 PM, May 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-21 23:49:00-04

DAVIS COUNTY ,  Utah -- The results are in regarding the first year of random drug testing at the Davis School District, and officials with the school district said they are very pleased.

During the past year, 1,373 random drug tests were issued, checking for more than 300 different substances. Out of those tests, 29 came back positive. Those athletes were given a second chance, and all but two passed the test cleanly the second time.

“I think that’s a very low number, I feel really good about that number,” said Barbara Smith of the Davis School Board.

Woods Cross High School quarterback Tanner Hammond doesn’t want any drug users in his huddle. He has embraced the new random drug testing policy.

“I pulled everyone away from the coaches and just said, ‘if you’re doing it stop now because I promise it’s not a good thing,’” Hammond said.

Kaestle Charlesworth, a student school board representative, said she had privacy concerns regarding the drug testing, but after experiencing it, she approved of the process.

“I was called down to the office and I believed I had a meeting with my counselor and then I was pulled aside and told I was doing a random drug testing, and you’re put into a private room where you can use the restroom, and do all the testing, and then within five minutes you have your results,” Charlesworth said.

The current penalty for failing a test is being suspended from practices and or games.

“I think it made a huge difference,” Defensive Coordinator Mike Tidwell said. “It made kids say, ‘What do I like more? Do I like being part of a life style that may have led me down the wrong path, or do I like being part of a family out here on the football field with my teammates?’”

The school board is so pleased they are even thinking about expanding the test to include students of any extracurricular organization, or possibly even all students.

“I really think just having them test positive and having them call their mom or dad and say, ‘Hey, guess what happened today?’ is a huge deterrent,” Smith said. “We’re hoping we are a leader in this and other districts will follow.”

The school district will hold a workshop over the summer to discuss whether or not they will expand the random drug testing process.