School Board To Reconsider Drug Testing
By Mike Scott
“CCR-1 is the only school in the Clarence Cannon Conference that does not drug test,” said school board member Keri Bevans. “Is that something we should be looking in to?”
The question was raised at the Thursday night, February 10 meeting of the Clark County R-1 school board. The issue was considered a few years ago, but not put into practice.
“I’d say it’s something we should look at again,” said board member Bill Schutte. “But money will be the big issue.”
CCR-1 Superintendent Ritchie Kracht explained that the school is very limited on how it could respond to a student testing positive for drugs.
“We can remove them from extracurricular activities, not allow them to come to dances, and not allow them to park in the parking lot. If they’re are not a student involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, we’re very limited on what we can do,” Kracht said.
“Band, for example, is a gray area. Because they get a grade, we could not keep them out of fall activities (field shows and parades). But in the spring, when they compete in MSHAA music events (solos and ensembles), we could keep them out of those,” he said.
“Basically, we cannot deprive them of educational opportunities,” added Middle School Principal Jason Church.
Kracht noted that North Shelby High School randomly tests about 23% of its driving age students per month. The cost is $13 per test.
“We have to consider what the purpose for doing this is”, interjected board president Brad Sprague. “Are we trying to catch athletes that might be using drugs, or are we trying to make the school safer?”
Church offered to investigate other schools’ policies and enforcement options, and will report back the the board at the March meeting.
“Find out how we could cast as wide a net as possible, and what our legal limitations are,” requested Schutte.
In other business, the board:
--heard a report that the attendance percentage is good at 95.74. However, the number of students enrolled is dropping.
--Kracht reported on state funding. “Right now, they are talking about 96.5% funding. We budgeted for only 92%, so if the state comes through, we’ll be a lot better off.”
--The board tentatively set the summer school schedule for May 31-June 24, with 19 days of class.
“We have to plan for it, but it’s 50/50 whether we’ll have summer school or not”. The state has not decided whether it will fund summer school this year.
--Kracht thanked board members and community volunteers for helping clear snow with their tractors.
--Kearns and Church thanked the middle school boosters for all the work they do supporting athletics, academic and fine arts at the middle school.
“They take good care of our kids, and provide things we couldn’t do otherwise,” said Church.