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Policy for drug testing mulled



Published: Tue, March 25, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Students who drive to school, athletes would be affected

By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK

news@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

The Boardman school board is considering drug testing every student who drives to school or participates in sports.

A committee of parents and school leaders was formed in September to look at the idea, said Frank Lazzeri, school superintendent.

“A mandatory drug-testing policy would provide not only a strong and positive message to both the students and community, but would provide a safer and healthier learning environment academically, athletically and socially,” said committee chairman George Statler.

It also will provide direction and assistance to students and parents when a student is identified as needing assistance with substance abuse, he said.

The district currently has a voluntary drug-testing policy in place.

If adopted, the new policy would require a hair sample from students being tested.

A hair-sample test detects drug use for a 90-day period and is nearly impossible to defeat, Statler said. After the initial test, a percentage of the students would be randomly tested at later dates.

Under the proposal, the district would pay the cost of the testing.

The testing would cost the district $25,000 to $30,000 annually, Lazzeri said.

If a student tests positive for drug use, he or she will be subject to further testing at parent or guardian expense.

“If a student is clean, they’ll never have to pay for a test,” said Jared Cardillo, Boardman High School principal.

Though the policy would apply only to students who drive to school or participate in athletics to start, eventually all students who participate in extracurricular activities would be included.

This school year, the high school issued approximately 500 parking passes, said Cardillo. There are about 1,500 students in the high school.

The board will revisit the issue at its April meeting. Issues, such as penalties for a positive test, still need to be determined, said Lazzeri.

The policy could be in place for the 2014-15 school year. There is no plan to drug test students in the district who do not drive to school or participate in extracurricular activities.


Comments

1thirtyninedollars(255 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This "for our children crap" is going way too far. Drug testing children is just way too fascist.
Why don't they just drug test the parents sending the kids to school as well?
Can we coddle the kids anymore? Can we invade their space anymore? How about we test every employee and scan their computers for anything that may harm the children. Start firing teachers whose political thoughts are too volatile for our children next.
It's a slippery slope that has already started the descent, can we pull back out?
Is the state the new parent or are parents allowed to be parents still?

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2AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Why are students who drives to school or participates in sports singled out? The students who give the extra effort, practice, workout, and spend hours upon hours to participate in sports are the ones getting tested. If you go to school, do NOTHING extra, don't represent your school, then your are safe from drug testing.

This makes ZERO sense.

How about randomly testing 20% of students, teachers and administration? IF the students are fully aware that teachers and administration are being tested and drug free, that would help show that they have role models to look up to.

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3griffbear(1 comment)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Driving a car to school does not constitute probable cause. Civil Rights anyone? Doesn't anyone care?

Please let me be clear; I absolutely favor programs and approaches that help people (especially kids) struggling with addiction and the constellations of turmoils that surround such struggles.

But that's not what we're talking about here. We're not even talking about problem drug use. There is always this subtle implication that the differences between "use," "abuse" and "addiction" are not important, but they are. Acting like everyone that uses drugs that are not commonly accepted or condoned is in need of aggressive intervention is like believing everyone that owns a gun will go on a killing spree, and therefore we should randomly search all student's cars in case they have assault rifles.

Hype up the fear, obscure the particularities, then leverage trumped up, manufactured, and mis-attributed urgency into power grabs under the pretext of public necessity; this strategy is at the heart of every effort to control a population, and it's precisely why we have enumerated protections in our constitutional system. (And focusing on students is especially effective, of course, because they are the easiest group from which to chip away rights, and because they're not "real people" with "real rights" anyway.)

I know that many people do not appreciate the significance of civil rights like our 4th Amendment protections until it's too late, but I still believe they remain fundamental and essential to a fictional democratic system.

As I understand, Ohio law (like many states) has provisions for teens of a certain age to seek certain medical care (including drug treatment) with confidentiality from parents, and our Bill of Rights has a built in presumption of innocence before our reasonable privacy can be violated.

This testing policy usurps both of these precedents. There are better ways to help kids with their struggles that don't require degrading students' dignity and civil rights, or diminish our historically fundamental protections.

Plus, in the words of my 13y.o. daughter, "Ew - that's just creepy."

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4pga2er(31 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Why don't they start with the members of the band, choir, orchestra and plays?

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5Tickedoffparent(1 comment)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

My first reaction to this is: On what grounds do you think you can do this? Since when is it my obligation to prove my child's innocence? Furthermore, if your true desire is for a safer environment for my kid, well guess what - we're starting with YOU Mrs. Teacher and YOU Mr. Board member. That's right, step up to the testing station.

Not just that, but lets have every single electronic device any teacher or board member has searched regularly for child pornography. I don't need to have any cause - teaching my children is a PRIVILEGE and you have to prove your innocence to me to be able to do it (according to this policy).

This is a sliding slope. Take an imaginary situation into account: What if the 'powers that be' decided that every kid HAD to eat a certain food? What if every kid HAD to receive a certain type of drug? Not resisting to 'voluntary' issues such as this drug test gives them precedent to do whatever they want tomorrow.

I am not sitting down for this. If this makes you irate, contact me and we'll band together to present a strong voice in opposition of further undermining of our privacy and liberty. What is really disturbing to me is that there were people at the first meeting and there was "no dissenting voice".

Again - please e-mail me so we can join efforts to resist this. - DAN

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