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Boardman takes the initiative in response to student drug use

Published: Mon, August 15, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

The Boardman Board of Educa- tion is taking a proactive approach to combating drug use by students, but it will be up to parents to decide whether the program is a success.

The plan may not be perfect, but none is.

Drug testing involves walking a tightrope between student rights, parental rights and court precedents that place limits on what a public school system can do.

The Boardman plan is voluntary and allows a parent to decide whether a student should be subject to random drug testing through the school year. The fee is $22.

Some parents know their children use or abuse drugs. Some attempt to deal with that challenge; some pretend it’s a temporary condition that the student will outgrow.

But many parents are unaware of a child’s drug use, at least until that use becomes painfully obvious through falling grades, moodiness or anti-social behavior, traffic accidents and other scrapes with the law.

When a student is using drugs — legal or illegal — the earlier the problem is addressed the better. The use and abuse of almost any drug can turn into an addiction.

So it would seem that for most parents — even those who are convinced that their child isn’t using drugs — that $22 fee would be money well spent.

Just as obvious, however, is the possibility that subjecting a child to random drug testing raises trust issues that could strain family relationships. That is something each family will have to deal with on its own, but there is certainly guidance available from local drug abuse agencies or even by doing an on-line search.

School discipline is an option

Boardman Superintendent Frank Lazzeri notes that test results will not be sent to the school, but will go directly to the parents. All options will be left to the parents, including sharing the results with the school, which would trigger in-school discipline. That may strike some as a strange provision, but schools have strict policies on responding to drug use. Such policies must be followed regardless of how the school district comes to learn of an infraction. And in some cases, parents may feel that subjecting their child to school-district discipline is the wake-up call the student needs. Others may choose to turn to an anti-drug agency, a doctor or psychologist or a member of the clergy.

Boardman is the first district in this area to try this approach, and it will be instituted during the coming school year in the high school.

Boardman parents and school officials will be able to evaluate the program and address its strengths and weaknesses.

Other school districts will have the advantage of Boardman’s taking the lead and will be able to decide whether a similar approach or one that is completely different would work best for them.

The only things that is known is that no school district and no parent can ignore the threat that drug use represents to their students and children.


1dreamcatcher52(140 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If parents have to give permission for the test, pay for the test, and are the only ones who receive the results of the test, why don't parents just go buy the test themselves and give it to their kids? This is NOT a job for the schools! Stick to education - and,yes, that can include education on the dangers of drug use and abuse. This is just a foot in the door to the eventual goal of mandatory random drug testing. Parents need to do their job and not give it over to the government.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

This is just a foot in the door to the eventual goal of mandatory random drug testing. Boy I for one hope so .
BHS sure needs it .

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Drug money has become a very substantial part of the area's economy .

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

more stupd times 8619

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5whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

throw in some dna gathering at the same time.

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6ytownescapee(20 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

How very ironic that your username is "Freeatlast" because you are slowly and surely losing every freedom that America fought so hard to retain. I can pretty much bet that you are not a veteran. Can you imagine a soldier coming back from spending one or two years in Iraq getting shot at so that we can be "free" just to find out that he/she cannot even smoke anywhere anymore but our homes (and I waiting for that to be banned too).

His/her son or daughter has a soccer or baseball game playing "organized sports" instead of the kickball games the neighborhood used to have when I was young in the 60's. This particular soldier goes to light up a cigarette in the middle of the outdoor soccer/baseball field, well away from anyone who might be near enough to have a problem with any smoke that might get in someone's eyes (in the middle of a huge ballpark).

Suddenly the smoke police come up to him/her and says "hey, didn't you know that smoking is prohibited in this ballpark"? I know if I just got back from anywhere risking my neck to protect my freedom and so-called "rights" I would be pretty upset if someone told me I could not even smoke in an outdoor ballpark. Yes, I am a nonsmoker but I am also thin and anyone who takes away my rights because it is unhealthy for me is butting their nose in my business.

I don't go to the person sitting next to me in a restaurant who is obviously overweight, if not obese, and tell them they are offending me because they are eating fried, greasy, unhealthy food and it is making me sick so would they please refrain from doing so. Or maybe I could go about finding out how we can get overweight people banned from going to McDonalds and Burger King and while we are at it why don't we just make it a law?

What the hell, all our other rights are slowly and surely being taken away from us all in the name of "mommy and daddy just want to make sure that you are doing what is right with your body". I am not a child and I know what is good and what is bad for my body. I should be able to put in and/or take out of my own body what I want to. I don't believe in abortion but I respect a woman's right to do what she feels is right for her own predicament.

Yes, let us leave it to the schools, once again, because the parents are not home, to urine test every kid going to school. I bet the places that do the tests will be all for it, and while we are at it you better urine test the teachers (yes, I know they are supposed to be) because in my eyes it is far worse for teachers to be under the influence than the children they are teaching.

And while we are at it . . .

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7TonyB(37 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If involved residents can organize sports leagues for football or baseball they can do Teen Courts. Community Justice Teen Courts managed by local volunteers are one model of civic engagement by local residents and teens. This is a diversionary program in the local high school or community center and NOT affiliated with the City or County Courts. Check it out,

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8ytownescapee(20 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

R1200GS - That is beautiful and I think whitesabbath is right - One nation, under surveillance, with wire taps, urine and DNA testing for all . . .

TonyB I have not been to the web site yet but it sounds like at least someone is trying to make a difference and having it NOT be affiliated with the City or County Courts is essential. I no longer live in Mahoning County but have family there so I do care what happens.

Besides, is anyone familiar with some of the ways that one can get around a drug test? Where there is a will there is way and there are plenty. People sell clean urine for good money. There are also pills you can take, for males there is a hook-up that you would not believe so that they can urinate clean urine at the right temperature. Just go on the internet and you can see all sorts of apparatus and ways to come up with clean urine.

Boardman is just going to make it a challenge for some of these kids. Don't they do their "homework" before suggesting something like this?

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9whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

hair samples and blood draws is the only way to go ytownescapee for drug testing.

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10ytownescapee(20 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

@whitesabbath - You are absolutely right about the hair samples and blood draws being the only way to go for drug testing. The only problem with that is that it is very expensive to send blood and/or hair samples away to a lab. Who is going to pay for the cost of this kind of drug testing.

It is a scary thought that it is coming to this. People under 18 are the responsibility of the parent, not the school to determine if there is a drug problem. The people who love and care about these kids should be the ones to help them whether it is rehab (which does not work for most alcoholics and/or addicts), therapy, etc.

You cannot force an addict to stop. Maybe you can control a minor for a period of time but if someone has an addiction and denies it or simply admits it but also does not want to quit will find a way to get their drug of choice.

If I am an adult with all my faculties working correctly I should be able to do with my body what I wish. Drugs will never disappear, drug pushers who are put away will have someone to take their place the same day.

For some reason people understand food, gambling or shopping addictions and they don't insist that these overweight, uncontrolled people are lazy junkies that are disgusting and should all be thrown in jail for the rest of their lives. As the saying goes "it is not what you are eating, it is what is eating you". You find out the underlying problem and you might be successful in overcoming whatever addictions one may have whether it is food, gambling, alcohol or drugs.

People are so judgmental when it comes to drugs and most don't know a thing about addictions. It is a horrible way to live and people would rather lock them up and throw away the key, unless of course this happens to be a loved one. People have no compassion for the less fortunate, or the injured at work and people who simply cannot find jobs. Somehow, though, if it touches their lives their opinions change because now they know what it is like to walk in very uncomfortable shoes.

Who are these morons who want to do nothing but build more and more prisons so we can just put all the addicts in jail for life. Is this a solution? I am appalled mostly with the arrogant people with power and money who think it is okay to snort cocaine on the weekends and on Monday go about arresting, prosecuting and sentencing people who are doing the same thing.

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