|Updated: 5/14/2012 10:35 pm
||Published: 5/14/2012 6:29 pm
ARKADELPHIA, AR - A southwest Arkansas school district is poised to require students to submit to drug tests if they want to participate in any extracurricular activity. Arkadelphia Schools think it's the right approach to keep kids away from drugs.
Arkadelphia High School, well known for its Promise Scholarship for graduating seniors, says a promise to avoid drugs is no longer enough.
"This is not a ‘gotcha’ program,” Arkadelphia athletic director Chris Babb says. “It's a program to help students say no or get out of a situation."
It’s a proposal for mandatory drug testing starting for the 2012-2013 academic year for students in grades 6-12 participating in sports or any other extracurricular activity.
Arkadelphia Schools board president Jeff Root says the district looked to neighboring districts in Prescott and Hope to help craft its policy.
"The board is of one mind on this,” Root says. “We feel strongly that it would be a helpful thing as it as been to other districts across the state."
But drug testing students is far from universal statewide.
The Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) says drug testing is a decision left up to individual school districts.
FOX16 News found the Bryant School District submits students to random testing. And Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County schools have no testing at all.
"This is not a reactionary thing as well, this is a proactive approach to try and help our students," Babb says.
The district has not made a final decision on the policy. That's expected to happen at a school board meeting at Central Elementary on Tuesday at 6pm.