If your child plays sports, joins the chess club or plays in the band at a Miami-Dade high school, they may be subjected to a random drug test, if a school board member gets her way. Raquel Regalado spoke about her proposal, as did parent Ceaser Johnson.
If your child plays sports, joins the chess club or plays in the band at a Miami-Dade high school, they may be subjected to a random drug test, if a school board member gets her way.
The Miami-Dade public schools haven't had a mandatory drug testing program since 1981. That may change soon.
"There has been an increase in the use of steroids," said Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado.
She's pushing the proposal to randomly test students involved in any extracurricular activity, from sports to the chess club to the debate team.
While Regalado thinks recreational drugs like marijuana are bad, she really wants to address the issues of students abusing prescription drugs, performance-enhancing drugs and drugs kids use to gain an edge in the classroom.
"If they have a paper that they have to write, and there is not enough time in the day, so they can mix this with something, stay up a little bit later and in their minds be a little sharper," she said.
Board members recently decided to study the feasibility and cost of randomly drug testing students.
While many people agree with the idea, some question the random nature of which students will be tested.
"I don't know how you would put it into the school system," said parent Ceaser Johnson. "I think you are going to run into a lot of roadblocks," he said.
The drug scandal involving baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and the allegation that student athletes from Miami received PEDs from a Coral Gables clinic are what's prompting Regalado.
"At a societal level we are talking about legalizing marijuana, children are hearing those conversations," she said. "So it is very difficult for a parent to say all drugs are bad, to say no to drugs."
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