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Goodrich School District to consider random drug testing for students



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January 30, 2013 - Goodrich-New School Board President David Cramer made his first message to the district very clear—drug testing students is needed.

"I'd like to test as many students as possible in the districts whether it's tied to obtaining a parking pass, athletes or extra-curricular activities," said Cramer during the Monday night school board meeting. "I want the idea to get out there and the community to start thinking about it. I have been on the board for four drug-related expulsions, in addition to more suspensions then we'd like to have."

Cramer said the high school policy committee along with Superintendent Scott Bogner will begin the process of establishing guidelines for the drug testing.

"Students today see medical marijuana in the community and even legalization (of marijuana) in some states," Cramer said. "I'm thinking some students are viewing it as accepted—it's not."

Other school board members say substance abuse issues in the district exist and will support enacting some form of random drug tests for students.

"Drugs are a serious concern," said Chip Schultz, school board treasurer who serves as a fire and arson investigator for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. "They lead to thefts, low test scores—I'm sure parents want to know. The workplace requires regular drug testing. Spread the word."

Schultz was also assigned to Milford High School in Highland Township as a school liaison officer after serving with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office as a road patrol deputy in addition to various jail duties.

Student school board representative and National Honor Society member Nathan Hagerman, 17, opposed the drug testing on Monday night.

here at Goodrich, but I've just not seen it," he said. "I've been here for four years and know just about every one of my classmates and I have no idea that anyone was expelled for drugs. Also, the district just laid off two custodians and say they don't have the money to continue block scheduling, yet now money just appears to spend on drug testing. The school administration should not be acting like parents. Let the parents take their kids for drug tests if they are so concerned."

"To catch a few students, others will pay and suffer," he said. "This is ridiculous. We're not in the work world yet—we're in after school programs. That's just not the same."

School board members had different thoughts on the subject.

"We welcome the thoughts from students, but come up with another solution," said Jeff Gardner, school board vice president. "I support drug testing. We have expelled way too many kids (for drugs) in my time on the board. It's time we stepped up. You don't get expelled for drug use in the real world, you go to jail."

According to news reports, Genesee County led the way for student drug testing as the Grand Blanc School District became the first Michigan school to drug test student athletes. A landmark legal decision in 2003 upheld the district's right to drug test student athletes on the basis that sports are a voluntary activity. The practice continues. After the Grand Blanc decision, Clio and Lake Fenton schools located in the county started athlete drug testing.

Larry Lamphere served as Lapeer Community Schools athletics director from 1991-96 and AD in the Brandon School District from 1996 to 2006. For the past four years he as been AD in the Clio School District.

"The school board has not funded the drug testing for athletes in about four years here in Clio," said Lamphere.

"The cost is very high about $4,000 per year for the random tests. It's my experience the (drug) tests are not a deterrent for students. They (students) are willing to gamble on getting caught—many do that every Friday and Saturday night. If you're looking to stop the drug problems, spend the money on education, unless every student is tested. The random selection of students does not become a deterrent. Only one test per season for athletics and done at random, kids will take that chance. In most places of employment where it's random, there is no test unless there's a problem."

"I guess I've been oblivious to a real drug problem

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