Random drug tests in store for Shamokin Area students?
COAL TOWNSHIP - Shamokin Area School District may establish a random drug testing policy for students.
Athletic director Richard Kashner told members of the board's athletic committee Monday that he hopes to have it in place next school year.
"The policy would apply to those involved in any extracurricular activity and those who drive to school," Kashner said. "I'm still in the process of gathering information from other school districts on how they run their programs."
It would need board approval.
Board member Richard Kashnoski asked Kashner if language would be included as to what to do if someone is suspected of drug activity.
"We can work the language in it that if anyone is suspected of being impaired, they can go to the principal and the person can be forced to go get a test," he said.
A policy for suspected impairment is already in place.
Most of the five board members in attendance seemed in favor of the random testing.
"Drugs are a scourge in the area, and we need to do what we can to stem their use," said board member Charles Shuey.
But he warned the board to expect resistance.
"You may have some parents calling about the rights of their child, but with every right comes a responsibility," he said.
"The kids know that, in the future, if they are going to get a job, chances are they are going to go through drug testing," Kashnoski added. "It's just preparing them for what they have to go through."
Kids roam after-hours
The committee had a discussion about younger children running around the school during youth sports practice, such as swimming and elementary wrestling. The committee may change its practice next year and enforce a drop-off-only policy with no siblings allowed.
"The parents have to understand that we are not running a daycare here. The janitors are complaining about the kids running around, using the cafeteria as a playground," Robert Getchey said.
An executive session was held for approximately 20 minutes for personnel matters about a letter written by head football coach Yaacov Yisrael. The contents of the letter were not provided.
Building and grounds
During his presentation to the building and grounds committee, which followed the athletics committee meeting and was attended by the same board members, Dave Petrovich, supervisor of buildings and grounds, presented a slide show of projects from the winter.
One photo showed vandalism to a remodeled ticket booth at Kemp Memorial Stadium.
"That is very disheartening, seeing a new door ripped off like that," Getchey said.
That led to a discussion about a past incident where the district had a $2,000 bill for damage to a district-owned utility vehicle that was rolled when juveniles illegally got access to it. The youths were prosecuted, but SASD has not seen any reimbursement.
Getchey said he would like to see the district adopt a reward program for any information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone doing damage to district property.
"We have a lot of neighbors around us that see things and don't want to get involved," Getchey said. "This might help them look out for us."