3 months, 2 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Discussion stretched to testing on a larger scale
The Quincy School Board will pursue more information on possibly implementing drug testing in the District.
The primary discussion focuses on drug testing students involved in extracurricular activities, testing on a larger scale will also be looked at.
Superintendent Steve Cobb said he wanted the discussion at last week’s Policy Committee meeting and that discussion was held during Wednesday night’s School Board meeting at Ellington School.
Cobb said he wanted to make clear that he was not saying there was a drug problem within the School District.
Cobb said he surveyed teachers at Quincy High School and Quincy Junior High. He said the results showed 78 percent of QHS teachers favored drug testing and 91 percent of QJHS teachers supported the measure. Cobb said 75 percent of the district’s students take part in extracurricular activities.
Board member Sayeed Ali questioned the cost of drug testing when the district is financially strapped in so many other areas.
School Board President Stephanie Erwin supported random testing on a large scale saying it needed to start “at the top” and include teachers, administrators and board members.
Board member Melvin “Bud” Niekamp said he thought everyone should be tested and he would have no problem being tested.
Board member Jeff Mays said the District should do something and asked “what is the cost of us sticking our heads in the sand?” Mays also said he thought the District’s Tort Fund was a “legitimate” way to pay for drug testing.
Board member Sheldon Bailey, who chairs the Policy Committee, said there were many questions and he proposed having the committee look into cost and possible implementation.
Legal Counsel Dennis Gorman said while drug testing of extracurricular participants could be implemented pretty easily, larger scale testing of all students and staff would be more difficult to do.
The issue will be further discussed at the next Policy Committee meeting.
The Board also:
*Adopted the tentative budget for the school year. The $70.4 million spending plan will be voted on in September. The larger figure of $77 million that QuincyJournal.com reported on Tuesday includes pass-through TRS payments.
*Heard Quincy High School students will be able to use new laptops and tablets this fall with wi-fi throughout the building. This is part of the technology grant from the Knapheide Corporation.
*Agreed to enroll the District in the Junior Achievement Financial Literacy program. The program will be implemented over the next three years and help students become more aware of how to handle real world financial issues.