First round of drug testing leaves the community with questions


Riley Vradenburg


Students and community members voiced concern after a student who had opted out of drug testing was picked for the first round of drug testing on Sept. 25, the Monday following the Homecoming Dance.

Participants in all fall sports had to sign an opt in or opt out form prior to the start of the season. This ensures that the school had permission to test opted in students randomly.

Senior Ruby Yearling had opted out of the process at the beginning of the school year. However, she was mistakenly called down to be drug tested. Ruby has previously spoken about her opposition of the drug testing on many occasions, including the original board meeting.

Ruby informed Assistant Principal Scott Carpenter that she opted out, and once her form was located, she was sent back to class, as reported by Granville Walks.

This raised many red flags not only for students, but for members of the community as well.

“It was simply human error,” Durst said. “She got put in the wrong binder.”

Principal Matthew Durst said they use a testing vendor called Sport Safe to generate all logistics and results of the process. There are two separate binders to store opt in and opt out forms.

“Roughly 200 names are on the opt in list,”  Durst said. “We tell the company how many students we would like to test and on what day. The company then forms a randomly selected list. In this case, we told the company that we wanted to test 20 students on Monday, Sept. 25.”

The list of students selected to be tested was sent to the office on the Friday before Homecoming.

“The testing occurs in the bathroom near the athletic office because we knew that it was an isolated area where only one person would go in and one person would come out,” Durst said.

Students were pulled out of elective classes and study halls in order to best avoid missing any core classwork.

“Overall, testing took approximately two hours to complete” Durst said.

In efforts to avoid this kind of mistake in the future, new practices have been put in place to better foolproof the process.

“After the first test, we will add an additional layer,” Durst said. “When we receive the list of students to be tested, we will also retrieve all consent forms.”