Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

July 13, 2013

Most in favor of random drug testing at schools

The vast majority of area residents think illegal drug use by teens and younger kids here is a problem. In the Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville Community Perception Survey that citizens answered online in January, 54.8 percent strongly agreed and 34.2 percent agreed that "substance abuse among youth is a serious issue in the community."

Fewer respondents – 85.9 percent – stated that "youth alcohol use is a slightly big or extremely big problem" in the Batesville area.

Results were reviewed by CDFB members at the July 8 meeting. Seven hundred and eighty adults completed the survey, 72.8 percent living in Batesville, Oldenburg and Morris. "I was very pleased with the number of responses that we got," coordinator Kim Linkel said at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Almost 91 percent said they would support a community coalition to address alcohol and drug issues here. Since Batesville’s Community Issues Committee was formed May 24, 2011, to combat the use of especially heroin and other illegal drugs, the group, led then by Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts, has sponsored two public forums, created a Web site (www.notgoingtotakeitbatesville.com) with lots of information and posted billboards.

The all-volunteer committee met with five Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati representatives Feb. 23, 2012. That summer members decided to change the name from CIC to Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville and begin applying for grants. The executive committee is led by Mayor Rick Fledderman and Police Chief Stan Holt.

How many area residents would support schools requiring drug testing of students prior to participation in voluntary activities? A whopping 88.2 percent reported they are in favor.

At the June 3 CDFB meeting, the superintendent said he has spoken to superintendents of nearby districts about the topic. "There is more and more … willingness to go toward random drug testing .... It is not creating the same angst” it used to.

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