A story published in Saturday’s Quay County Sun might suggest I don’t believe in punishment for drug and alcohol use by teenagers.
This is far from the truth. What I would like to see is fair and equal punishment for every student.
Often, I believe the punishment is not fair for the violation committed and is rarely equal from situation to situation.
I believe the focus has been placed on the timing of when you get caught, not if you get caught.
We have students who are arrested or caught in violation of the drug and alcohol policy in the summer, in the off-season of their sport, a day before practice starts or the day after the last game, but see no consequences as an athlete.
We have students who are caught at the beginning of a season and miss the entire season. Others are caught at the end of the season and are dismissed from the remainder of the season, which could mean missing only one or two games and being free to continue on to the next sport in line for the year.
I believe changes need to occur in our policy to address the issue and confront it.
I think our schools should enforce random drug testing for our students as a deterrent. I think we need to have a mandatory number of weeks suspension from activities. I believe that if a student-athlete is caught violating a team rule, they should be forced to utilize the counselors at school for help. I think they should be offered a chance to be placed back on the team with the knowledge that second offenses will come with further and more severe consequences. I believe if the student-athlete is allowed to return to a team after a drug offense, the parents should be required to pay for mandatory drug testing.
This is all part of a long process that our school board, administrators and parents need to address. My entire family has long supported Tucumcari High School and its activities. Our concerns regarding this policy will not change our continued support of the Tucumcari public school system.