Vargas and board members are studying information on developing a policy for students in grades 7-12 involved in extracurricular activities, which include but are not limited to athletics, band, cheerleading, UIL academics, school organizations, etc., and for those students who park a vehicle at the school parking lot during the regular school day.
“Drugs are here in Goliad and we have students at our high school campus who have been involved in drug use and having drug paraphernalia on campus,” Vargas said. “I don’t see it as a huge issue, but it is there. We’re not looking at it as a ‘gotcha now’ as much as we’re looking at it as a prevention.”
Vargas said approximately 35 to 40 people attended the two informational meetings concerning the possible implementation of a drug-testing program.
“The questions there were very good,” Vargas said. “One was why not test all of the students? Why just focus on those in extracurricular clubs and organizations?
“The answer is the law allows us to test individuals who park a vehicle on school property and are involved in extracurricular activities. It does not allow us a blanket test of everyone in the school. It comes down the Fourth Amendment search and seizure laws. Students are guaranteed a right to public education. They are not guaranteed a right to extracurricular activities. They hold their own code above and beyond the student code.”
Vargas said he and Goliad Athletic Director John Mares and Trainer Michael Haley were planning to go to each campus to meet with seventh- through 11th-graders to get their feedback on the possible drug-testing program.
“This will give our students a legitimate way out of a peer pressure situation,” Vargas said. “Just telling our kids to ‘just say no’ and you’ll be fine hasn’t worked.”