Hayes will chair drug testing group
Hartselle's drug policy committee is one step closer to a reality.
The Hartselle Board of Education recently approved a list of volunteers from various organizations to serve on the drug policy committee.
Hartselle High Assistant Principal Susan Hayes will chair the committee. Other members already named to the committee were: school board chairman Susan Puckett; junior high school coach Christy Ferguson; high school coach Johnny Berry; high school teacher Judy Praytor; community volunteer Cleo Stubbs; and Lt. Tom Sparks of the Hartselle Police Department.
Yet to be named to the board are: a band parent to be selected by the band boosters; a cheerleader parent to be selected by those parents; an athletic parent to be selected by the Booster Club; and a high school student involved in extra-curricular activities to be selected by the Leadership Team.
The city council will also select one of its members to serve on the committee.
The deadline for nominations for the drug policy committee is at the end of the academic school year.
Puckett said there are several things that the committee will be considering.
"There has to be an agreement between the board and the student's parents. They have to agree to be governed," Puckett said. "Felony convictions, the school's code of conduct and disciplinary actions and how they are policed have to be defined. An appeal process should also be outlined."
Puckett said the basic issue is the safety of the students and the liability of the schools. "If students submit to a drug screen it is a search of their person. Asking kids in extra-curricular activities to submit to a drug screen is setting the bar for them to participate in the activity," Puckett said. "We need to determine the most appropriate course of action."
Much of the board's work will hinge on a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. An Oregon teen sued, saying the tests unfairly targeted students involved in extracurricular activities.
Board member Jeff Gray, an attorney, said he feels drug testing – at least in some form – will be upheld.
"They're not going to ban random drug testing," Gray said. "The Supreme Court's question is whether to extend drug testing to band members and other students."