Pubdate: Fri, 24 Dec 2004
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2004 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Jen Lynds
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


DYER BROOK - Officials in the Southern Aroostook Community School District
have decided to join other school boards around the state in considering
whether to establish a drug-testing policy for students who participate in
extracurricular activities. Conversations are only preliminary, Principal
Clark Rafford said earlier this week, but the issue came up at the
district's school board meeting this month.

"This is just something we are throwing out there because other schools in
the nation are starting to do it," he explained. "Some require random drug
testing of athletes or those who participate in extracurricular activities.
We are just opening the dialogue and considering if this is something we
want to implement."

Nothing will be final until the superintendent checks on the legalities of
the matter and the board considers the issue more carefully, the principal

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 in 2002 to allow public schools to conduct drug
testing of students involved in any type of extracurricular school activity.
Speaking on behalf of the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas stated that
students who participate in extracurricular activities voluntarily give up
some of their privacy rights.

Since then, schools across the nation and a handful in Maine have considered
implementing drug-testing policies. Today, countless Web sites peddle
"accurate and cost-effective" student drug testing kits, while an equal
number of sites boast how to beat them.

In Dyer Brook, some school board members felt that a drug-testing policy
should include all students, not just those who take part in sports or
school clubs and organizations.

Rafford explained this week that the school doesn't feel a need to implement
the policy because of any problems, but the discussion was more of a
proactive measure.

"If a dog were to come into your school, you would need a policy before that
could happen," the principal said. "So it is just a matter of saying, 'Maybe
we should have some sort of policy.'"
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