South Adams drug testing policy is outlined

    South Adams Schools board member and random drug testing policy committee chairman Steve Dobler recommended at Tuesday's school board meeting that the random drug testing policy be enforced at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year.
    "I think it will be a good thing for our students," he said.
    Dobler reported that the random drug testing committee has met three times since the March school board meeting to discuss who will be entered into the drug testing pool, whether to use saliva or urine as the test specimen, and to determine the consequences for a positive test result.
    Although the board policy allows for a urinalysis test, a saliva screening and/or a breathalyzer test, the primary method of drug testing, said Dobler, will be the saliva screening.
    Dobler reported that the committee has determined that all students in sixth through twelfth grades who participate in athletics, other extracurricular activities, co-curricular activities, and/or who drive to school will be required under the policy to sign a consent form which will enter them into the random drug testing pool.
    Dobler said that the committee recommended that seven students be randomly tested each week -— five from the high school and two from the middle school — with three levels of consequences. 
    For students who participate in athletics, the consequences would follow the athletic code of conduct for the first through third offenses.
    For those who participate in an extracurricular activity, a co-curricular activity and/or drive to school, the first offense would be a 45-day suspension from the activity. The second offense would result in suspension from the activity for the remainder of the school year, and a third offense would result in suspension from the activity for the remainder of the student's middle school or high school career.
    Additional requirements being considered for positive tests are followup tests and verification of enrollment in a drug rehabilitation counseling program.
    The estimated total cost of the random drug testing per school year is $5,800.
    The random drug testing policy committee includes Dobler, Superintendent Scott Litwiller, administrators Trent Lehman, Jeff Rich, Brian Strauss and Mike Pries, as well as Yvette Weiland, Angie Richert, Troy Young, Cindy Minnich, Doug Beall, Curt Amstutz, Denny Affolder, and Lack and Melinda Taing. 
    No motions or decisions were made on the policy. The issue is to be revisited at next month's meeting.