Brownwood school board members unanimously agreed Monday night to have random drug testing for high school and middle school students involved in extracurricular activities beginning in the 2017-’18 school year.
    Board members also chose Southwest Consortium of San Angelo as the company that will perform the urinalysis drug tests. The company will provide a medical review officer who will determine if prescription medication has caused a student to have a positive test.
    Southwest will charge $14 per test, according to information in the board’s agenda packet. That’s the lowest cost of the five companies that submitted proposals.
    Board members will determine later the percentage of students in the pool that will be tested, Superintendent Dr. Joe Young said at the board’s Monday night meeting. The total number of students from both campuses in the pool will likely be in the 1,000 to 1,200 range, young said.
    Parents or guardians of students not involved in extracurricular activities can have those students included in the pool if they desire.
    Young gave an overview of how the board developed the drug testing policy, which began with a discussion at the March board meeting. Young said the district received feedback from the School Health Advisory Committee and the Site Based Decision Making Committee, and Young also spoke to service organizations about the plan.
    According to the policy the board has approved:
    • First offense — student will have random follow-up testing during a 90-day period after testing positive, and must test negative to avoid second-offense sanctions. The student must complete a district-approved drug education/counseling program.
    • Second offense — student is suspended from extracurricular and co-curricular activities for the remainder of the school year. The student must have a negative test before being allowed to participate the following school year. The student and a parent or guardian must complete a district-approved education/counseling program.