Michigan superintendent: ‘Vaping has kind of taken over school districts’

District consider random drugs tests

PLAINWELL, Mich. – Plainwell Schools is a district of more than 2,700 students and it is dealing with the same issue as other districts: Vaping.

“Like a lot of other districts in the state, and really in the nation, we’ve seen an uptick in drug use, particularly in vapes. Vaping has just kind of taken over school districts,” said Superintendent Matthew Montange.

A proposed plan would implement random testing of students who participate in sports, club activities, the National Honor Society and musicals. The district would randomly test 10 percent of the students who participate in those programs, which is about 350 kids.

The test would be overseen by the districts’ athletic trainer, and would cost about $5. The five-panel test will look for nicotine, THC, opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine.

“If they were randomly drug tested (positive) we would meet with the family and the student has the option to a drug information course," said Montange.

The student would also lose 25 percent of playing time for the season, but they can still be on the team and practice.

“The main thing is making sure that the student and the parents have the resources they need to make sure they are monitoring this and helping their student,” the superintendent said.

A decision on this proposal is expected to be made at the next Plainwell School Board meeting on Nov. 18.

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