Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Camden School Board Tables Decision on Drug Testing; Debate Will Continue on July 12, Pending a Look at Other Options Affecting Students in Interscholastic Activities

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Camden School Board Tables Decision on Drug Testing; Debate Will Continue on July 12, Pending a Look at Other Options Affecting Students in Interscholastic Activities

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

KINGSLAND -- The Camden County school board tabled a vote on drug testing for some middle and high school students at Tuesday's meeting, saying they want to look at other options.

"We all know this problem should be solved in the home, but it's not," said Jean Marie Brazell, a school board member. "It does infringe perhaps on students who don't use drugs. We're struggling to do the right thing."

School board member Doug Benton said the drug problem in Camden schools is probably "a bigger problem than we know of," but he wanted more questions answered before he could vote on the issue.

"I'm still asking questions today," he said.

It's the second time in a month the school board tabled a vote to test students in grades 7 or higher for drugs if they participate in interscholastic activities such as athletics, band or academic competitions sanctioned by the Georgia High School Association.

All students who apply for a permit to park on high school property also would be tested for drugs. The issue will be discussed again at the July 12 school board meeting.

St. Marys lawyer John Myers told board members during the meeting's public comment period he opposed the proposal, describing it as "an invasion of privacy."

"I think this is an ill-advised action by the school board," he said. "I don't think you have as big a problem as you think you do."

Lucy Hunter, assistant superintendent of curriculum and administrative services, said there were 71 incidents of substance abuse reported during the last two school years among the district's nearly 10,000 students.

Though the incidents represent about 1.5 percent of the student population, Hunter said the goal is to decrease the number of drug-related incidents in county schools.

"The purpose is to encourage a drug-free lifestyle," she said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.