Posted: Sep 14, 2010 10:32 AM by Letitia Walker
CENTRAL, La. (AP) - The Central Community School Board has voted
unanimously to temporarily suspend drug testing at the middle and
high schools until a new policy using hair samples is further
evaluated by a committee.
Monday night's decision followed concerns brought to the board
by a Central High School parent, Theresa Martin, who said her
"rights as a parent were being violated."
"The (results of the) hair test go back 90 days, but school's
only been in for two weeks," Martin said. "It's my job as a
parent to control and monitor my child when she's not at school."
Beginning this school year, Central Community schools
implemented a new drug policy requiring all students who
participate in extracurricular activities or who drive to school,
to submit to a drug test using a hair sample cut from the scalp. In
previous years, schools monitored students using urinalysis, which
tests only a 30-day span, officials said.
Martin said she supports drug testing, but thinks hair sampling
goes over the line because it can provide a more complete record of
private medical information.
Superintendent Michael Faulk admitted the school system should
have done a better job communicating the policy change with
parents. Similarly, Athletic Director Sid Edwards, who is
overseeing the drug testing, admitted some hair samples taken were
bigger than they should have been.
Board member Russell Starns recommended suspending the policy,
noting that it had never gone to committee for review before being
implemented. He also questioned whether Edwards should be
responsible for overseeing the tests.
The board will reconsider the policy on Sept. 27.