Rose Hill Schools Need Community Input On Drug Testing Policy

By: Lily Wu and Phil White Email
By: Lily Wu and Phil White Email

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Rose Hill Board of Education members did not take formal action for the implementation of a random drug testing policy.

The board heard from several members of the Random Drug Testing Committee at tonight's meeting.

Committee members said the new policy would be used to compliment the current policy on drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

"Our school district's had a problem in the past. There's been some issues. This is one way to fix and help kind of solve those. It's not a cure all, fix all, but it's something that will help compliment the current drug policy," said Greg Rodman, parent supports drug testing.

Other parents said a random drug testing policy would be too costly for the district to implement.

"My big concern is the fiscal responsibility of the district to try to pay for the program, when they can't guarantee at this point in time what it's even going to cost to start it up," said Roberta Jehle, parent against drug testing.

The board is seeking input from the Rose Hill community regarding drug testing. They are asking community members to email them with their comments.

To find a list of BOE members and their email address, click here.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Parents in a Kansas community want the school district to implement a drug testing policy, arguing such a policy would deter some teens from using drugs.

One Rose Hill dad said he knows random drug tests at school are not a cure-all for teen drug use.

"I think that this is something that all school districts in the next three to five years are going to see an increased awareness and even implementation in," said Greg Rodman, one of the parents urging Rose Hill USD 394 to implement a drug testing policy. "Why be one of the last dogs in the race? Why not go ahead and step up there and set a standard and get it established?"

Rodman and other parents began researching random drug testing in schools after a man was arrested in May for allegedly selling drugs to Rose Hill High School Students.

That research included looking into what random drug testing policies other Kansas schools have in place.

"I was able to get copies of their policies; find out their violation policies and what percentage of students were being tested," Rodman said.

A school similar in size to Rose Hill with an established drug testing policy is Wellington High School. There, students involved in extracurricular activities and students who drive to school are subject to the tests.

"We want to look at it as not a case of penalizing the kids," said Brian Buchanan, USD 353 Activities Director. "What we're trying to do is try to help the kids."

Buchanan said the tests are a deterrent for some students.

"When they are forced by peer pressure, the kids do have a chance to say, 'We get drug tested here at the school,' so they can always use that as an out," he said.

The tests cost the Wellington school district about $1,000 per month. The money comes from advertising displayed on banners at the football field and in the gymnasium.

In Rose Hill, Rodman has told the school district he is willing to pay for the testing himself if he cannot help the district find funding elsewhere.

The father of three high school boys knows, however, solving drug problems starts at home.

"That's something I don't have any tolerance for and they know I won't hesitate to do a random drug testing just within our own house," Rodman said.

Drug testing will be discussed during the next Rose Hill Board of Education meeting, which is at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 8. The board will not take any action on the issue during that meeting.

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