Random drug testing policy to be reinforced for student-athletes

Published 12:29 pm Saturday, May 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NATCHEZ — The Concordia Parish  School Board on Thursday agreed to contract with Workforce Consultants to randomly drug test student-athletes in accordance with LHSAA policy.

Per LHSAA regulations, prior to practicing or participating in any sport all student-athletes and their parents or legal guardian must sign and return a contract where the student gives consent to be randomly tested for drug use.

If the policy is not strictly enforced, the school may be fined $50 per student, per sport for each LHSAA Substance Abuse/Misuse Form not completed, properly signed, and on file with the school not to exceed $500 per sport.

Email newsletter signup

Students who violate this rule “shall not be ruled ineligible for this infraction, but shall be withheld from further team practices and interscholastic athletic participation until a copy of this form is completed and submitted,” the contract states.

Superintendent Toyua Bachus said the school board added to its drug testing policy by contracting with Workforce Consultants to perform drug tests once per semester — once in the fall and once in the spring — for each sport at each school.

“That means that every sport will have a random (drug test),” Bachus said. “A positive drug test LHSAA … does not say the child will be prevented from playing that sport. What it says is that we will assist with giving that child support that they need to ensure that this doesn’t become a habit,” she said.

Bachus added that students who refuse to take a drug test will not be able to participate in sports until they submit to drug testing.

School board member Fred Marsalis Sr. said this is “not new LHSAA policy” but that the school district had “not been adhering to it as we should.”