by Jonathan Oggero
In accordance with a new school policy, students who participate in sports that are either commencing their season or currently in season have been drug tested. This process is a new rule for playing sports because of its effectiveness in purifying athletes.
The penalties for those who test positive are that if an athlete turns himself in, he can continue to play the sport with a minor consequence. If he does not turn himself in and tests positive, he cannot play a sport for that season.
“Several things motivated me to enforce the new drug testing policy,” Principal Rev. Patrick Fulton, C.S.B., said. “One is, it is mainly directed toward the student athletes who make up the largest group of students in the school. Also, this is something that goes on out in the world.”
Athletes, however, are not the only ones being drug tested.
In fall 2009, St. Thomas began random drug testing among the entire student body. Students have failed tests in the past, and consequences were largely kept quiet.
So far, the winter season sports have been drug tested. The spring season sports will undergo testing at random points during the season. If a student participates in a sport this semester, he can expect to be tested in some way.
When it comes to consequences, student athletes who turn themselves in will be suspended for one game and required to go for an assessment at The Center for Alcohol and Drugs Houston (CADH).
They will also have to follow the prescription of the assessment, which is likely to include a series of tests and possible attendance at a formal class.
Athletes who are caught by the test will have to do all these things and miss one week of practice.
Coaches can also enforce their own consequences. Students who are not athletes and fail the test will also have to attend the CADH.
St. Thomas uses four types of drug testing.
The first is a rapid urine test that gives an immediate response.
The next is a lab urine test that is more concentrated and a more in depth exam.
Also, there is a hair test which can test for a drug used over long periods of time.
The last is a very detailed test for synthetic THC. This is any type of drug that mimics the effects of THC, creating a marijuana-like “high.”
Prices for these assessments range from rapid urine being the
Fulton is not the only authoritative figure who enforces a drug testing policy. Drug testing is a part of life in the world beyond high school.
“Drug testing makes student think twice about whether or not it’s worth it,” Coach Tim Fitzpatrick said. “This new policy is going to force kids to make choices.” As for the athletes, testing can be expected as a new part of the seasonal routine. St. Thomas has always been at the top of the list in every aspect of high school education. “Different coaches around St. Thomas hold their athletes to a higher standard than the general population,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The reason for these tests is to help the students.” Fulton said, “It is for rehabilitative purposes.”