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Unique policy on drug testing mulled by Boardman schools



Published: Sat, July 23, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Robert guttersohn

rguttersohn@vindy.com

boardman

The township school board may vote Monday to allow parent-approved, random drug testing that would extend beyond extracurricular students.

The policy would be the first of its kind in the Valley.

“It seeks to help students, not punish students,” said Boardman Superintendent Frank Lazzeri.

If approved, parents would pay $22 to have their student tested at school randomly throughout the year by WorkMed. The results would be sent directly to the parent. Lazzeri said the school would not know the results, and no punishment would be handed out unless the parent decided to reveal the results. Then the school would take punitive action.

If a student is caught using drugs, first offense is a 10-day suspension. If the student seeks drug treatment, the suspension can be knocked down to five days, Lazzeri said.

Expulsion is recommended for multiple offenses or for those students thought to be selling drugs.

Student athletes are barred from 20 percent of the season’s games if they are caught using drugs. Repeat offenders would never be allowed to play sports again.

For an extra fee, parents could have athletes tested for steroid abuse. Currently, Boardman does not test its athletes for banned substances, Lazzeri said.

Although Lazerri said the new program will deter the use of drugs in the community, others call it an invasion of privacy.

“We are always concerned when students are being drug tested,” said Mike Brickner, spokesman from the American Civil Liberties Union Ohio. “We each have a right to privacy unless there is evidence we’ve committed a crime.”

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court said the random testing of students involved in extracurricular activities is constitutional but not the drug testing of all students.

Lazzeri said he gave the policy to the school district’s attorneys and heard no warnings. Brickner would not say whether the ACLU would file suit against the district.

“We think kids would have some sort of say,” Brickner said. “Parents can’t just get all the unilateral information of their child’s medical history.”

For example, Ohio law allows minors to seek drug treatment without parental consent or notification.

Brickner suggested parents educate their children on the repercussions of drug use rather than just having them drug tested.

“The more communication you have with the child, it is better on many fronts — not just with drugs,” said Michael Senchak, executive director of Mahoning County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Service Board.

He added that drug testing also is an effective way to deter drug use in high schools and would support any district with a policy similar to Boardman’s.

“Anything that works in helping students stay off drugs, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with that,” Senchak said.

He said he was not aware of any district in Ohio with a similar drug-testing policy.

Lazzeri said a committee of parents and staff came up with the voluntary policy after months of deliberation.

Monday’s action would authorize the district to spend no more than $1,000 on policy promotional materials to be given to parents at the beginning of the year.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at Boardman Center Middle School.


Comments

1Woodley(26 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

What the Boardman School District is proposing is GOOD. The average parent regardless of race, creed or color is unaware of drug use among their children. With the advent of the social network, music media, and entertainment sources, our children are constanly exposed to "get high" and have "sex" influnce. The childs "rights" are obey their parents and seek to live a moral life. If the ACLU wants to protect the rights of children when it comes to drug use, then let the ACLU be reponsible for the deaths, crimes and rebellion of the children who use drugs.

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2mabell(25 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Faculty should then also be tested.If they want a drug free school start with the teachers.

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3taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Really mabell?? This is meant as a tool to help parents with their children. Did you read the article? The school would not know the results UNLESS the parent gives it to them. No punishment from the school UNLESS the parents want it. Don't be so rediculous that you are going to defend the kids and start in on teachers. Drug testing of an employee is a whole other thing that many employers do. It has nothing to do with helping keep our children drug free

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4yeahright(20 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

So, let me get this straight...If the parents find out and seek help without the school knowing, no punitive action. If they tell the school, a 10 day suspension? If it's VOLUNTARY, why would they suspend the student? That's a good way to reduce the number of students per classroom without a new levy. Parents have a right to know, but this is a major infringement on the family's right to privacy by the schools.

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5seminole(476 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Key statement from the story: "Lazzeri said a committee of parents and staff came up with the voluntary policy after months of deliberation." This is the entire basis for this. The parents that don't pay attention and don't talk to their kids want this and the teachers that don't want to be involved want this. It absolves them from their responsibilities as parents and teachers. Just check out Facebook and look at the way these Boardman kids portray themselves.

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

We are doing just fine in Younstown without the testing . Testing would only be prejudicial to the culture and further expand the stigma . Drugs in the hood are not looked upon with disdain but as nourishment for the soul .

http://www.soulculture.co.uk/wp-conte...

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7steelwagon(284 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I say leave the kids alone and start testing those on the public dole.
I had to be drug tested before I could get a job to pay for these freeloaders to sit around getting high or sell their scripts that they pay nothing for.

We have 2nd and 3rd generation welfare families who have never worked a minute in their lives .
If you and I the working people who pay for their sloth and habits have to be drug tested to be hired and to keep our jobs Willie and Wanda Welfare should be tested as well !!!

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8taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't agree more steelwagaon. I just found this article this week:

Florida is the first State that will require drug testing when applying for welfare (effective July 1st)! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It's OK to drug test the people who work for their money but not those who don't?

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Those who don't work for a living have political clout and will they will be punitive over drug testing . Recreational drugs help them cope with all that idle time and they will not be deprived .

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10Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I think we need to test Stan the man

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11MOLOCH(21 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court said the random testing of students involved in extracurricular activities is constitutional but not the drug testing of all students" Bet there is a lawyer just waiting for the 1st kid

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12Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

@falconeddy "Steroid use was bad in the 90's." - -It was even worse in the 80s and I am not speaking just about Boardman but in general.

These things sound good but have a way of going too far down the road.Seat belts were voluntary at first too.You can't go through an airport without being groped.

I am not saying it doesn't have any merit I am saying there is a slippery slope when the ends justify the means.Lets face it there are products available to the public to pass drug tests.There is simply no substitute for parents being on the ball and doing their homework.

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13whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

OK PEOPLE...............

Wonder how much D.N.A. will be gathered and placed into a database....

You all will have a name and now a NUMBER

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Freeatlast :

"I think we need to test Stan the man "

How high of a dosage of cocaine do I need to ingest to get quality posts such as yours ?

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15LtMacGowan(645 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

This is absolutely horrible. The A.C.L.U. had better get involved and stop this egregious assault on civil liberties. Now a days you don't have to do anything wrong, hell you don't even need suspicion, now everyone is a potential drug user and must have their privacy invaded.

The school is NOT a supplemental parenting system. If parents want to buy into this crap then let them test their children at home. I don't want a publicly funded school doing it even if the parents are paying for it.

and besides drug testing is a joke, its easy to beat depending on which test they perform.

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16LtMacGowan(645 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

and btw I wonder who gets this lucrative drug testing contract... and how were they chosen...

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17taliwacker(54 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Taxcpayer1001 wrote " I couldn't agree more steelwagaon. I just found this article this week:

Florida is the first State that will require drug testing when applying for welfare (effective July 1st)! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It's OK to drug test the people who work for their money but not those who don't?

Did you not know that Ohio recognizes drug/ alcohol abuse, as a disabling disease? In Ohio, you can get on SSD if your a crack head... But yet they fail to recognize autism as a mental disability worthy of SSD.. go figure... who would have thought a Democrat state would have thought of that one ???

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18taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Tali- There really is something wrong with that logic. It just amazes me that there seems to be nothing we can do about this kind of stuff as ordinary citizens. There is so much wrong with the way our government does things and it just keeps getting worse.

Bigben- Very good point you made

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

"In Ohio, you can get on SSD if your a crack head..."

The culture has gone mainstream .

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20hellokitty(161 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

[Stan's avatar] Stan(8194 comments)posted 19 hours, 56 minutes ago

Freeatlast :

"I think we need to test Stan the man "

How high of a dosage of cocaine do I need to ingest to get quality posts such as yours ?

Freeatlast, why are you picking on my man stan? you suck.

ok, now why really, are you picking on Stan? 'splain yourself!
!

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21livevalley(23 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

OK LtMacGowan and others. I saw again, don't talk get the facts FIRST. One person hit it on the nose, look at Facebook and you will see how bad drugs are in Boardman AND Canfield, Poland and Austintown along with most other schools. Even the city, its about the same as the burbs. This ACLU crap, grow up and quit hiding and crying. People that throw out that card are cowards. There is a BIG problem in todays schools with about 75% of the kids using pot and YES pot is illegal. Its also a gateway drug. On top of that dig a little deeper and find out how many kids use drugs with mom and dad. Hard to believe but true. Now to do a little investigation on your own and see these people and who they are. Go to 4 seasons flea market on a Sunday, both inside and outside look for the tables selling pot pipes. Guess its legal in the city. First look whos behind those tables selling. No young kids but parents. See a 60 year old in a wheel chair selling crap and couples everwhere. Sit at the lunch counter inside and see a 40 something chinese lady make a ton selling this crap. Then look whos buying. I see young kids 15-16 up to couple 40-50 years old and everything in between. They sure as heck aren't buying these to put on the fireplace mantel. The problem IS a school issue, IS a police issue and IS a parent issue. They are all to blame in many ways, its not just parents. But instead of BLAMING lets try helping and fixing a problem. I WISH I could go into more detail but the problem out there is real and its getting worse. Blame me for it all thats even fine but get a solution to fix it. Boardmans testing is a VERY WEAK start and its said they did not put more teeth into it but its a start. I would love to see some of the parents of those stud athletes that are going on to play big time ball be tested, NEVER happen as that would be suicide for the kid and will lose his scholarship. As for teachers, if they really want to address this problem then they should step up to the plate and be tested, and if there are some bad ones then they should be replaced, heck with the ACLU and there rights, drugs are illegal. WHY would anyone want to protect them, PLEASE explain that. Boardman you took a VERY SMALL STEP, now lets see if you have any b@lls and go all the way.

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