KATY, Texas - Katy ISD’s new Legacy Stadium cost more than $70 million, but district leaders apparently don’t think $100,000 for random drug testing is money well spent.
“I think eliminating it will definitely be a negative,” said former Katy High School football player Michael Hardy.
Hardy said he was randomly drug tested twice.
“I do know people who failed,” Hardy said.
He considers it a good deterrent.
“Because people won’t have that sense of urgency to stay away from drugs,” Hardy said.
KISD’s board of trustees voted in June to eliminate random drug testing for athletes and some other students. According to what the superintendent told the board, 1,021 students were tested last year.
Of that number, less than 3 percent tested positive for something. Those students required additional testing and expense.
“I can see both sides,” said parent Lane McKeever. “Like, why are we spending this money, and no one’s failing?”
“You can find justification for doing things, as well as find justification for not doing things,” said Roy Nino, another parent.
Staff said random drug tests were less effective than using drug-sniffing dogs to search an entire school.
“That’s going to be one less thing they have to worry about,” Hardy said.
He said the best defense is using both.
Katy ISD released the following statement on eliminating the drug tests:
"On June 26, during the Katy ISD Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the discontinuation of the district’s random drug testing program. Because the percentage of students testing positive has been very minimal, Katy ISD has opted for a more proactive and preventative approach aimed at educating students, rather than a reactive “caught you” course of action. The focus of our programs will be on helping students live a drug-free life."
We checked with some other districts. Cy-Fair ISD eliminated random drug testing in 2010. HISD doesn’t do it, either. However, a spokesperson said UIL still conducts random testing for steroids.