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Smithville school board considers random drug tests for students

Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 23:26:25-04

SMITHVILLE, Mo. — The Smithville School District Board of Education tabled a vote Wednesday regarding a new drug screening policy for students to gather more research and feedback.

The Board of Education has been working on a new policy for more than a year.

“We want to be sure with what we are doing and that the policy is accomplishing what it is intended, and that is provide a source of prevention and intervention,” Superintendent Todd Schuetz said.

Under its current proposal, the policy would allow for random drug tests to be administered to students who participate in extracurricular or cocurricular activities as well as students who park at school.

If a student tests non-negative or positive, he or she would not be allowed to patricpate in activities or park at school for 15 days. The individual’s parents also would be notified and the school would provide resources and programs to help the students.

There is a one-time appeal process.

“If we can provide another level of support for our students so that, while they’re here with us, while they’re under our roof, we’re supporting them in every way possible, then we are doing what we are supposed to,” Schuetz said.

Not every parent or principal agrees.

During Wednesday’s board meeting, Smithville High School Principal Tracy Platt expressed concern about initially punishing students who do not pass the drug test.

“I have a hard time, if a student has the non-negative (test result), that the student has a consequence, because everyone is going to know because he is going to be sitting out,” she said.

Platt favored a policy that focused more on finding a student help rather than punishing the individual.

The district has conducted an open forum on the proposed policy and collected feedback from parents and students, but the Board agreed to continue the conversation Wednesday and plans to collect more feedback from students.