Central snips student drug testing temporarily
Student drug testing is on hold in the Central School District. It comes after controversy over changing the testing method from urine to hair samples.
Board members said questions about the kind of testing revealed several issues with the policy altogether. They said the move to snip it out of action is in the best interest of the students and the school system.
"It's my job as a parent to control and monitor my child when she is not at school. It is the school's job to monitor what happens at school," said Theresa Martin.
"Whether it's hair, urine, toe nail or spit," said Central Athletic Director Sid Edwards, "we better get busy doing it because I'm going to tell you, we've got an issue."
Testing so far has found five students out of almost 300 positive for drugs in the school district. However, testing has also found flaws in the district's policy.
"We were supposed to hire a company to administer the policies that we put in place, and I am not convinced that's happening right now," said board member Russell Starns.
Parents said neither are they after some students returned home with too much hair missing and confusing consent forms. Some of those parents, as well as teachers, said they still think the main focus should be whether hair testing over urine testing is worth it.
"I still think it infringes on their privacy because the job of the school board is to make sure that our children are not on drugs while in school," said Martin.
"If we would really say, 'Use me as an example. Use me as a standard. I really truly want to prefer others over myself,' then we might really see an end to this epidemic," said Candi Jones.
"If we've got one kid out of 4,000 precious kids, we have one kid who's using drugs, then we've got a big problem in Central," said Edwards.
A committee will meet in a week to straighten out the policy and take on parents' input before the board votes on the changes on Sept. 27.