Move to randomly drug test students tabled by board pending further review
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:09 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
The Obion County School Board has tabled action on board policy that would allow random drug testing for students involved in extracurricular activities.
The board last month approved the first reading of an amendment to board policy regarding the testing but voted at its monthly session Monday night at Obion County Central High School to table any additional action pending further review.
The Tennessee School Boards Association had recommended changes to the board policy regarding student alcohol and drug testing, with the changes reflecting the latest legis-lative action. Public Chap-ter 1136 authorizes school districts to allow random drug testing of students who participate in voluntary extracurricular activities, with parental permission required prior to testing.
Board members indi-cated last month after ap-proving the first reading of the amendment that they wanted more time to review the policy and ensure everything was in place before the next school year. However, instead of recommending a second and final reading Monday night, Obion County Director of Schools David Huss presented board members with more information and recommended they table any action until further study is done.
Huss gave board mem-bers the results of a survey in which he checked with every school system statewide to see if they have random drug testing or are considering it. A total of 104 of the 138 school systems responded. Of those 104, there are 27 which either have policies or are considering them, while several others are discussing it.
The board approved board member David Lamb’s motion to table action pending further review.
Board member Susan Williams said she would like to see the high schools’ student government dele-gates conduct polls to receive student input, while board member Fritz Fussell asked how school administrators feel about it. OCCHS principal Linda Crigger said there are “mixed feelings.”
In other action during Monday night’s meeting, which was opened with prayer led by board member Mrs. Williams, the school board:
• Welcomed OCCHS senior Reid Wiggins as a non-voting student repre-sentative on the board. The board previously decided the county’s Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) delegates should do rotations as student representatives.
• Approved a consent agenda that included a monthly personnel report, monthly substitute teacher additions and monthly financial reports.
The personnel report listed the hirings of Denise Mock in Ridgemont food service, Lisa A. Robertson as an educational assistant at Ridgemont and William Murphy as a custodian at South Fulton Elementary; the resignations of Donna Windle at Lake Road, Teresa Sanders as an educational assistant at Ridgemont, Staci Butler from food service at Hillcrest and Barbara Simmons as custodian at OCCHS; and leaves of absence for Corey Moffitt, an educational assistant at Black Oak (extension of leave), and Billy Hussey, a custodian at South Fulton Elementary.
Substitute teachers who gained approval for the month included Vicki Reed, Traci Baggett, Megan Dame, Annette Pettigrew and Jaclyn Cook.
• Approved the second and final readings of amendments to board policies regarding the procedure for granting tenure, separation practices for non-tenured teachers and policy development and adoption. All were wording changes recommended by the TSBA to reflect recent legislative action.
• OK’d the annual Report of Local Education Agency Compliance.
• Approved the appointment of members to Textbook Adoption Committees.
• Approved on first reading an amendment to the handbook for interscholastic sports under the title “Heat Index.”
• Approved an amendment to the General Purpose School Fund Budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year to reflect a $1,500 contribution from Kohler Company to the Adult Education Program.
• Declared two 1995 International 78-passenger school buses as surplus property and approved their disposition through sealed bids.
• Approved a contract with the TSBA for policy manual updates and online service to keep the policies updated on the school system’s website. The three-year contract is $2,500 per year.
• OK’d two amendments to the School Federal Projects Budget.
• Approved four overnight student trips, including those for both OCCHS and South Fulton High School’s FFA chapters and both Ridgemont and South Fulton Middle School’s Beta Clubs.
Published in The Messenger 10.05.10