School board member calls for random drug testing

EAST LIVERPOOL – The newest member of the city school board said Monday night he thinks the district is “behind the eight ball” when it comes to random drug testing of students, compared to other districts.

Member Brian Allen distributed to his colleagues several policies from other districts around the area, including Clear Fork Valley, Vermilion Local and Elyria Catholic and also a proposed policy he drafted himself.

“I’m open to changes and edits. I felt we needed something to get the conversation started,” Allen said after the meeting.

At the meeting, he told the board he wanted to open the conversation because “We’re really behind the eight ball on this,” with other districts already implementing such a policy.

The 17-page policy Allen drafted does not include vocational students, but he said the final draft will.

It calls for all students in 7-12 grades who participate in extra-curricular activities or who apply for parking passes to be subject to random drug testing by an independent testing vendor chosen by the school board.

A list of those eligible students would be provided to the vendor at the beginning of the school year, and students would then be randomly chosen throughout the year for testing, which would be paid for by the district.

Parents or guardians could also ask to have their children tested, according to the policy but would be responsible for the cost.

The draft policy emphasizes no student will be penalized academically for a positive drug test, although it will affect extra-curricular activities and parking privileges.

Allen encouraged board members to consider the information he provided and to accept comments from the public on the subject.

Board members made no comment.