Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Drug testing policy at SACS (Southwest Allen County Schools)

Three parents have asked me how I feel about the current drug testing policy at SACS. Since three people have asked me, I decided to post my opinion on my blog. That will enable people who will be voting for NACS School Board to make a more informed decision.

First of all, I am 100% in favor of SACS passing whatever rules they feel will help their school system. I feel that most school decisions should be made locally. We need to get politicians in both Indianapolis and Washington D.C. out of our schools.

The current SACS drug policy was implemented last year. The drug program only involves students. Students who participate in extracurricular or co-curricular activities must fill out some forms and are all added to a pool of students. Students who do NOT participate in extracurricular or co-curricular activities are not required to submit themselves to this pool of students. Teachers, coaches, administrators, and school district employees are NOT required to submit themselves to this pool.

Students are randomly selected from this pool and are drug tested.

I would not vote in favor of this program if it were proposed at NACS as outlined above. I do not feel it is fair for two reasons:

1. The prospective pool of students does not include the teachers, coaches, administrators,
employees, etc. Why not? If drugs are perceived to be a problem in SACS I would think we should drug test the above people BEFORE we drug test the students.

2. I think that all students should be included in the pool or no students should be included in the pool.

Mike Sylvester
Candidate for Northwest Allen County School Board.

12 comments:

tim zank said...

Hey Mike, Good luck on your campaign. Your policy on drug testing is WAY too fair and makes WAY too much common sense! You sure anyone will listen when it's that simple? Seriously, Good Luck, sounds like you'll make a great school board member.

Craig said...

Do teachers have to submit to testing upon hiring?

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am not sure Craig but I SERIOUSLY doubt it.

Mike Sylvester

Robert Enders said...

1. They should at least test athletes. Pro and college athletes get tested; its part of the game.

2. The teachers union won't stand for testing of employees.

3. You can't include every student in the drug test pool. You can search lockers because the lockers are school property. Either the student or the parent must consent to a search of the child's bladder. That is covered by the 4th Amendment.

4. The idea behind testing kids involved in after school activities is that the school can make consent to the testing a condition for being allowed to participate in the activity. Though I doubt very much that the chess club partakes in performance enhancing drugs.

5. Ritalin and other drugs used to treat ADD can trigger a positive test result. These drugs are chemically similiar to cocaine.

6. Although a school can disipline a student for a criminal conviction, students cannot be disiplined for what takes place off campus. Perhaps the child went to Amsterdam over spring break?

7. Drug tests in general are unreliable. They cannot be used as evidence in a criminal trial, they should not be used to determine if a student should be disiplined by the school.

William Larsen said...

When do we begin to trust our children? When do we start to let them make their own decisions? Sure, prevention is great, but when we initiate a drug program to screen our children, are we not saying, "we do not trust you?"

Is it the responsibility of the School System to raise our children or is it the responsibility of the parent? The purpose of a school system is to present the material to my children so that they can learn. I pay taxes so that they can teach, not so they can raise my child or teach responsibility, those are my responsibilities. The school system needs stop trying to increase their responsibilities and get back to basics.

It's time focus on teaching and learning.

bobett said...

Posted on Thu, May. 12, 2005
News Sentinel


Letters to the editor


Spend on activities, not drug tests

Students who participate in extracurricular activities are the least likely to do drugs, which is common sense borne out by research conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, Indiana Prevention Resource Center and others.

I recognize the need to provide children with a quality education and to promote high school student achievement by eradicating drug use by students in a community rampant with drug use. But Southwest Allen County Schools ought to spend that $500,000 over the next four years toward trust and belief in our students to keep them at their busiest and best at extra-curricular activities. Can we spend the money on books, teachers and technology?

Our schools already have numerous means to educate, search and prosecute drug users. They need to utilize existing resources, as they have in the past with lockdowns, searches and drug-sniffing dogs. Does SACS have rampant drug use? Does random testing work? Will the drug users cheat the system by putting salt, hairspray or other ingredients into urine samples? How about the numerous Web sites that tell drug-users how to pass a urine drug test?

It’s the parents who should police their children. Parents should know where their children are and what they are doing. Parents should structure the daily lives of their children. We should not be discouraging extracurricular activities, no matter how much federal money comes to SACS to fund drug testing.

Bobett Kelley



Posted on Tue, May. 31, 2005
in the Journal Gazette



Letters


After-school activities best drug deterrent


Students in extracurricular activities are the least likely to take drugs. This is common sense and is documented in research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Indiana Prevention Resource Center and others.

Rather than spend $500,000 over the next four years on drug-testing students who participate in extracurricular activities, invest the money in books, teachers and technology. Schools already have means to educate, search and prosecute drug users. They need to use existing resources, such as lock-downs, searches and drug-sniffing dogs.

We need to get at the root of the problems that cause students to seek drugs. Parents should police their children, know where they are, what they are doing and who their friends are, and give their children daily structure. The community should not be discouraging extracurricular activities, no matter how much federal grant money comes to pay for drug testing.

BOBETT KELLEY
Fort Wayne

bobett said...

The Spartana, Homestead's newspaper
announced beginning 2006-2007 school year, SACS will be the first district in Indiana to operate a full-time police drug sniffing dog at a cost of $8,000
annually. I thought bringing in a drug dog from our county police
a couple times a year would scare the heck out of 5th-12th graders
at school.

On March 14th, the SACS school board was presented with the proposal and at the next school board meeting March 28th, the board unaminmously passed the purchase & care of this full-time drug dog and an additional annual outlay of $700.00 raise to Officer AJ Pape. Officer AJ Pape initiated
the idea with an all expensed paid trip to find how to bring this to SACS.

Ms. Annita Gross, school
psychologist, and activist
for NAND (no Alcohol, no drugs program) is the person who brought
the random drug testing into SACS
thru a grant from our federal Drug Czar John P. Walter.

I find it interesting Drug Czar John P. Walter was in Indiana one
month before SACS board members voted to approve Ms. Gross's proposal on random drug-testing.


I agree all School Adminstrators,
faculty and SACS employees should set the best possible example by being in the random drug testing
program. Did I tell you all 5th grade thru 12th grades are subject to random urine tests.

Further information on how we have let the government police our children.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 Contact:
Alison Kogut 202–395–6618

WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR John P. Walters & SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCE $ 7.2 MILLION IN GRANTS AWARDED TO PREVENT TEEN DRUG USE

(Washington, D.C.)—The Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Department of Education today announced the release of Federal grants for schools to implement random student drug testing programs to help more young Americans avoid the trap of addiction.
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/news/press05/ Read it all.

And please see the official site
of our National Drug Control Policy
site at http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov

Anonymous said...

I used to work with an organization called the Drug & Alcohol Consortium who helped Anita get the big grant to test the high school students. I find it amusing how many dollars the state is wasting to pay state level consultants to oversee the state drug funding -- WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY. It would have been wise for Mitch to do away with the consultants, it would have saved taxpayers $500,000 + a year. What I learned when I was at the organization was the rampant amount of drugs in local schools. In order from most drug bust in a year to the least:
1. Homestead
2. Carroll
3. Leo
4. Heritage and Woodlan
5. Northrup
6. New Haven
7. South Side and Elmhurst
8. North Side
9. Paul Harding and Wayne

I am now a substitute teacher for FWCS, and we are tested at the start of employment. However, knowing the number of cases regarding teachers and administrators who are caught using drugs, I support random drug testing. At least once, if not twice, per year teachers would have to undergo a drug test.

bobett said...

Only in Indiana:

The only reason Homestead(SACS) is at the top of the drug enforcement list is because they receive the most funds and have instituted a drug police state in Northeast Indiana. It's called money... how do I keep my job and how do I fund my agenda?

I thought, Parent 101 classes in the form of signing up to learn
parent educational programs would be more important. Informed, attentive parents and providing the family with life-long skills at reering our future treasures (youth) and promoting focus towards family education are the most important gifts to share. That was originally the public schools focus 10-15 years ago, right?

Wait, I can get more Federal goverment subsidies if I can label
students with perceived mental, behavioral defects. Does Ritilian...a.k.a. uppers
come to mind or Lithium...a.k.a
downers come to mind.

I'm appalled at the lack of disregard towards our future, our youth. They are amazing...when the light goes off, be prepared, they
will be our treasures and gifts.



The Indiana, 7th district Superior Court ruled, random drug testing
for all students who participate in clubs, drive, play any sports or
are involved in school activities; and whom live in the United States are subject to random drug testing..

I believe it is less than .03 of the entire SACS school body that has been busted, or questioned about activity towards this perpetual drug war.

The remaining 99.7% is not appreciated but, held accountable.

Anonymous said...

Thank You,


Anita Gross, SACS school
psycho...logist

Smoke said...

Drugs are just bad, you should try to use Herbal Alternatives as a temporary replacement to loose the dependance!

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