Pubdate: Thu, 30 May 2002
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Decatur Daily
Author: Deangelo McDaniel
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Hartselle committee to develop policy for testing students

HARTSELLE -- Councilman Frank Jones will represent the city on a committee 
that will develop a drug-testing policy for the school system. He is one of 
13 members who will determine which students in extracurricular activities 
will be tested and what the punishment will be for a positive test.

Councilmen Don Hall and Tom Chappell did not support the City Council's 
recommendation to place Jones on the committee.

Hall said the city's representative should be a councilman with a child in 

"This way the individual would have to adopt something that he may have to 
live with down the road," Hall said.

Chappell and Allen Stoner are the only council members with children in the 
Hartselle school system. Stoner declined to serve on the committee, but 
Chappell applied.

Committee Chairman Susan Hayes has not set a date for the first meeting, 
but Superintendent Lee Hartsell said it may be next week.

Mrs. Hayes is assistant principal at Hartselle High School.

Other committee members include school board Chairman Susan Puckett; 
Hartselle coaches Christy Ferguson and Johnny Berry; high school teacher 
Judy Praytor; community volunteer Cleo Stubbs; Lt. Tom Sparks of the 
Hartselle Police Department; band parent Greg Dobbs; cheerleader parent Pam 
Byford; athletic parent Barry Hamilton; and students Juan Ward and Amanda 

The committee will not finalize the policy until the U.S. Supreme Court 
rules in a case involving student drug testing in Oklahoma.

One of the issues in the case is whether public schools can require drug 
tests of all students in extracurricular activities, even if they are not 
suspected of drug use.

The plaintiffs' claim that testing without suspected drug use violates the 
student's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. 
Another question in the case is whether the schools' interest in protecting 
students and eliminating drug use overrides student privacy.

Hartsell is concerned about the financial impact drug testing could have on 
the system, especially if Hartselle follows the policy Limestone County uses.

The Limestone system tests all athletes at the beginning of each sport 
season, but the students are subject to random tests. The Limestone school 
system budgets $50,000 for the drug-testing program.

Between 500 and 600 Hartselle students participate in extra-curricular 
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