High school athletes in the Youngstown City Schools will be drug tested starting this fall.

City Schools athletic director Nick Sferra says new policy takes effect for the 2024-2025 school year and has been board approved.

The district says the purpose of the drug testing is to provide a healthy and safe environment to all students participating in extra curricular activities, discourage all students from using drugs & alcohol, provide students with the opportunity to become leaders in the student body for a drug free school, provide solutions with positive guidelines and disciplinary policies for violations of the drug free policy, encourage students who participate in athletic programs and extra curricular activities to remain drug and alcohol free.

Great Lakes Biomedical is the company under contract and will test student athletes on a pre-season and/or random based. The tests will be administered on campus.  All tests will be conducted by trained officials and information regarding the tests are confidential.

The first violation is the loss of 10& of games but student can still attend and participate in practices. The student must participate in an assessment and follow up program.

The second violation is a 30 day suspension from athletics.  The follow up assessment and program must be completed.

The third violation is a suspension for one calendar year and the follow up assessment & program.

A fourth violation is denial of participation in athletics for the remainder of the student's attendance in the Youngstown City Schools.

Sferra will meet with all school administrators Thursday to go over the policy and a public meeting for parents, etc. is scheduled for June 12 at 4:00pm at Choffin.