Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

September 24, 2013

Three speak out on drug testing

“I am doing a lot of research” on random drug testing of students, superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts told Batesville Community School Corp. trustees Sept. 16.

On deciding whether or not to create a drug testing policy, BCSC President Chris Lowery said, “Personally I feel very compelled to … wait until we get more information from Dr. Roberts.”

Trustee Dr. Steve Stein said even if testing begins at some point, that should only be part of the district’s approach to lessening drug use.

Mary Rogers, Batesville, a parent of a BHS graduate and substitute teacher, said, “Thanks for continuing to strive to make Batesville community schools among the best in the state ... It’s obvious you believe in better. I have listened as you have discussed with care and conviction the many challenges that come with providing education to all students who walk through your doors.

“One of those challenges is children using illicit drugs. In spite of the best efforts of the community, we know that illicit drug use continues. My concern is that drug testing students is an unsupported, untested and arbitrary way to attempt to discourage illicit drug use among the high school population. I oppose the use of any drug testing of students ...” She asked attendees to consider other ways to encourage abstinence.

Gail Timonera, Batesville, the mother of two graduates, agreed with Rogers. “I’m not sure people in this room really understand how deep the drug problem is in the school system. I’m not sure drug testing is the answer. I think it’s very complex.” She predicted if using urine samples to test for substances begins, students will go online to learn how to evade the process.

Timonera suggested, “As you go out and search for information, I challenge you to reach out to recent graduates … who may willingly tell you” about experiences and potential solutions “that we may not think of.” Expelling students for drug use doesn’t make sense to her. “Kids doing drugs want to get out of school.”

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