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Streator High adds nicotine to interscholastic student drug testing

Popularity of vaping cause of addition

The Streator High School Board added nicotine to its list of drugs randomly tested for students who participate in interscholastic activities, such as athletes.

The board voted on the policy change at its December meeting.

Superintendent Matt Seaton said the increased popularity in vaping sparked the change. He told the board 40 percent of high school students have said they are vaping or have tried vaping.

"Students may be using it, not knowing the nicotine conent or its addictiveness," Seaton told the board.

The random drug tests will cost the district $7 more per test. The school board is expected to approve a measure in the future to test more students. Its policy allows the district to test up to 10 percent of students participating in interscholastic activities, but Seaton confirmed the number of actual students that will be tested per week will be around eight to 10.

The district already tests students in interscholastic activities for alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine metabolites, marijuana metabolites, methadone, methaqualone, opiates, phencyclidine and propoxyphene.

Only students involved in interscholastic activities are subject to the random drug testing policy.

Streator High to save on buses

The board renewed its transportation contract for the 2019-2020 school year with Illinois Central School Bus at a 7.75 decrease over last year's rates.

The district spent roughly $480,000 in transportation costs in 2017. This includes four regular bus routes, two special education routes, field trips and sports trips.

Seaton said it's been the district's goal to reduce its transportation costs. 

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