Pubdate: Tue, 09 May 2006
Source: Daily Herald (IL)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Russell Lissau, Daily Herald Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Drug Test)


A Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District  128 board 
member on Monday said officials and the  community should reconsider 
whether students should be  forced to submit to random drug tests.

While he didn't come out as a proponent of drug  testing, board 
member Dennis Ryan said he wants  residents to tell administrators 
and the board if they  believe illegal drugs are a problem in the 
district. He also wants to know if people favor random drug tests.

"I don't know how I'd vote," Ryan said during an  early-evening 
program and personnel committee meeting  at Libertyville High. "I 
want to hear all their input."

Antioch-Lake Villa High School District 117 is among  the few 
districts in Illinois that employs such tests.  District 128 
officials debated random drug testing  several years ago but did not 
enact a program,  Superintendent David Clough said.

Monday's discussion arose during a review of proposed  student 
code-of-conduct changes. Board member Ellen  Mauer, leader of the 
program committee, suggested an  exploratory committee form to 
discuss the matter  further.

Clough said drug testing is a worthy topic to revisit."

Not all the officials at the meeting were comfortable  with the concept.

"At first blush, it's something that feels very  invasive to me and 
very negative," board member Judy  Berliant said.

Berliant recommended the district hold public meetings  about drug 
abuse to first educate people about the  issues before delving into a 
debate over testing. Ryan  disagreed.

"I don't care if people are educated or not," he said.

The committee made no formal decisions on the matter.

The full board is expected to debate and vote on the  code-of-conduct 
proposal at its May 22 meeting at  Vernon Hills High.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman