Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

December 6, 2013

Coalition members discuss random drug testing

Diane Raver
The Herald-Tribune

---- — The possibility of randomly drug testing Batesville Community School Corp. students who participate in extracurricular activities or drive to school was once again discussed at the Dec. 2 Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville meeting.

Superintendent and CDFB member Dr. Jim Roberts said, “Each month, we get a comment or two (about this issue). They are pro and con, and I think our board is also somewhat divided.

“Data is being collected .... (and) we’re still investigating how much it will really cost to have a significant impact.”

Officials at other Ripley County schools have also expressed interest in learning more about random drug testing. He hopes a committee made up of two board members from each of the four school corporations, along with the superintendents, can be formed to learn more.

Mayor Rick Fledderman wondered, “Has there been any discussion with Franklin County or East Central high schools?”

The superintendent replied, “East Central does it, but not very frequently .... What I’ve heard from the other schools that do the testing is when they have a positive test, it tends to be for cigarettes.”

County council member Ron Decker asked, “What are the odds of the police department and school working together and taking the dog through once a month?”

Roberts announced, “What we have found with our recent running of the dog is very little .... We have limited going into the classrooms because of the situations where there has been a hit, but nothing has been found. Then there is the perception that ... (someone) is a drug user” and they’re not.

The K-9 does go through the parking lot and through the hallways. “We are finding very little in the cars and lockers now,” he added. However, he noted there is the possibility that students may be keeping drugs concealed in clothing or bags and bringing them into the classrooms.

Members discussed the Community Perception Survey citizens participated in by answering questions online in January. They decided to keep the same 15 questions, plus add up to five more dealing with prescription drugs and heroin. The survey will be sent out Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, and will be available until the end of that month.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.