The Solanco School District will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the high school auditorium to discuss its drug-testing policy.

The new police would include mandatory, random drug testing for all middle and high school students who participate in extracurricular and cocurricular activities. Also included in the new, mandatory, random drug-testing program would be high school students who drive to school, and homeschooled students who participate in Solanco extracurricular activities.

The new drug-testing program will be funded partly by a three-year, $45,000 drug-testing grant Solanco has received from the U.S Department of Education. Solanco administrators have developed the new drug-testing program and policy to be preventative in nature, to serve as a deterrent to student drug use, to enhance communication between students and parents about drug prevention, and to provide students who use drugs with access to assistance programs.

The Solanco school board will have a second reading of the new policy in February. The new drug-testing program for students would begin March 1, while student drivers would be entered into the program at the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.

The drug-testing program would include screening for a variety of drugs including steroids. The new program and the new policy have been reviewed and approved by Solanco's solicitor and court rulings have supported this type of testing program.

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