District debates drug testing for students
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Come fall, students at a local high school may be handed a different kind of assignment. The Murphysboro School District plans to randomly drug test some of its students.
Board members discussed the issue Tuesday night. At first, they considered testing only those involved in sports or other extracurricular activities but they later decided to expand the testing to a larger group of students, those with parking privileges.
"The pressures are more on them at an early age now," said Chris Newman, a local parent.
Newman said he knows he has to look out for his daughter. Even she knows why.
"I feel like more kids are doing things that they aren't supposed to be and they know it," said Shelbi Newman, an incoming freshman.
And catching those doing drugs is what Murphysboro district officials have in mind.
Superintendent Chris Grode said the district is moving forward with a drug testing policy.
Students playing sports aren't the only ones who could be screened in the coming months. Anyone who parks a car on campus with a parking permit is in the mix, too.
"I think it should be up to the parents to monitor their own," said Newman.
Newman said he's in favor of the plan but wants the details to be worked out before the policy is permanent.
"I don't personally have a problem with it but I can see where a lot of discussion would need to be held," he said.
While the consequences aren't set in stone, there are a variety of options on the table.
For a positive test, athletes could be benched and drivers would lose their parking privileges.
A first draft of the policy will likely be read at the board's August meeting and it could be voted on by September.
The school district would pick up the tab for the tests. They are talking to companies to find out how expensive testing would be.