Pubdate: Fri, 04 Aug 2006
Source: Altoona Mirror (PA)
Copyright: 2006 Altoona Mirror
Author: David Hurst
Bookmark: (Drug Test)
Bookmark: (Youth)


NORTHERN CAMBRIA - A Northern Cambria school committee  meeting is
being held Tuesday to discuss implementing  random drug testing.

In what has become more common in districts statewide,  the board is
considering randomly testing students who  participate in
extracurricular activities -- and  possibly other students as well --
if the school is  given parental permission.

The board is encouraging district residents to attend  the meeting at
7 p.m. in the elementary/middle school  auditorium.

"There's an inherent drug problem all over -- not just  our area --
but you've got to start somewhere,"  district solicitor Gary Jubas

Jubas cites a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows  random testing
for students who participate in  athletics and other extracurricular
school activities.

With parents' permission, other students also may be  tested randomly,
the Ebensburg attorney said.

The Central Cambria school board adopted a similar  policy several
years ago.

The Altoona Area School District has a policy requiring  athletes to
agree to testing if they want to play  school sports.

Jubas said Northern Cambria's policy is being ironed

The board has been studying the matter for several  months, and
possible penalties for offenders likely  will be a topic of discussion
next week.

"Penalties, for instance, for first or second offenses  is something
we really haven't figured out yet," Jubas  said.

"But we're not trying to create a policy to throw kids  out [of
school] -- it's meant to get them help."
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