I understand that my son/daughter/ward, when participating in athletics, extracurricular activities and/or receiving a parking permit, may be subjected to initial and random urine drug testing, and if they refuse will not be allowed to practice, participate or park. I have read the consent on the reverse of this form and agree to its terms.
So my kid would have to whiz in a cup in order to join Art Club? Or park at the high school--for which the Brecksville-Broadview Hts. City School District Board deleted busing?
You bet I went to last night's meeting. You can read other local media coverage and see video here and here.
The impetus for this proposal was not an uptick in drug activity in the schools. In fact, when several audience members asked about recent drug activity last night, Board Members had no information about drugs found in the schools or drug usage in the schools. They had no data regarding our local student drug problems at all. And make no mistake, surveillance cameras dot our school hallways and trained drug dogs regularly sniff around them. Lockers are routinely (and preemptively) searched.
The proposal came from four students who did not approach the School Board under their own volition. The group was selected by the Community Awareness and Prevention Association (CAPA) to attend a special drug awareness, prevention and education program over the summer.
"We sent four kids to a national youth leadership initiative training in Florida," said CAPA Coordinator Kelly Lazar at last night's meeting. When the students returned from the trip, Lazar said, they made a presentation in front of CAPA regarding the drug abuse preventation strategies they had learned about. "As they were talking about that and talking about some of their concerns," said Lazar, " ... they were saying that they were concerned that kids were drinking in the park. They were just concerned about their peers."
Here's where it gets interesting.
Lazar continued, "The question came from a CAPA person, 'well if there was one thing you could recommend that you would do--the silver bullet so to speak--what would you recommend? And (the students) said, 'student drug testing.'
"At that point, we said, 'okay.'"
So, let me get this straight: some kids hand-picked by the CAPA board think some other kids might be drinking in a park, and that means that my kid needs to get a drug test in order to join the art club or park at the high school, which is, incidentally, 3.9 miles away from our house.
Superintendent Scot Prebles thought that any testing program would be paid for via fees.
So, let me get this part straight: after you stopped busing for high school kids, forcing an onerous burden on parents who have to figure out transportation for their freshman and sophomore students who can't drive, or buy vehicles and insure their junior- and senior-year teens (approx. $1,000 per year) who can drive, pay for gas and vehicle maintenance and purchase a $100 school parking pass; you're now going to ask us to pay for mandatory drug testing before they can park at the school?
Oh, and nicotine is one of the drugs listed as illicit in the "draft policy."
The board was understandably clobbered with complaints about the proposal last night. Not one parent stood up in support of the program. And while the Board conceded that any action is months and months away, they still may consider a drug testing program.
To any parents or taxpayers in the Brecksville Broadview Heights School District that have an opinion on this matter, I urge you to share it with the Board via this link.
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