Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jun 2005
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Huntsville Times
Author: Brandy Yates Poole
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Students Who Want To Park On Campus Would Be Subject

GUNTERSVILLE - The Guntersville board of education is considering adopting 
a random drug-testing policy that would affect any student wishing to park 
a car on campus.

Marshall County's four other school systems have such a policy, and 
District Attorney Steve Marshall urged the Guntersville board Monday to 
follow suit.

"This is not a mechanism to punish kids," said Marshall. "What we hope is 
that it's a means to enable kids to resist peer pressure."

About three years ago, Marshall assembled a citizens' task force to help 
fight the county's crystal meth problem. A broad-based drug-testing policy 
for students was one of the group's recommendations.

"I am not here to endorse any wording of this policy, but I am in favor of 
it as a deterrent," he said. "I have read over it, and I am very confident 
not only in a professional capacity, but also as a parent with a child in 
this school system."

The proposed policy, which had its first reading at Monday's meeting, would 
require students wishing to drive to school, as well as their parents, to 
fill out a consent form.

Under the policy, the board can require all students seeking parking 
privileges to submit to screening; students must also be willing to submit 
to testing at any time before, during or after school or any time they are 
otherwise under the supervision of the school.

In addition, any student school officials believe is under the influence of 
a prohibited substance can be subject to random testing without advance notice.

Any student who tests positive or refuses to submit to a test would have 
parking privileges suspended indefinitely. A second failed test will result 
in permanent removal of parking privileges.

The policy also says the student will not be penalized by outside authorities.

A final count of school incidents for 2004-05 school year shows three 
students at Guntersville High School were found with illegal drugs, 
according to school system officials. One was suspended and two were sent 
to alternative school. A student who was selling drugs was suspended. 
Another four, who were found to be using alcohol, were sent to alternative 

Superintendent Andy Lee said Guntersville has been testing athletes for 
seven years. This new policy, he said, is similar to the one used for them.

Louis Lusk, the board's attorney, "made some minor changes to the wording, 
but overall it's a great policy," said Lee. "I hope it helps students to 
say 'no.' "

Marshall said "concrete results" from such policies in other local schools 
are not available, but he said the rules seem to be working.

"Anecdotally, the other superintendents are very pleased," he said. "And 
students are talking about this problem. They know when someone has been 
called for a random test."
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