After a community drug forum to discuss the ever growing drug problems in the Boonville area was held last Tuesday, the Boonville R-1 School Board at their Monday evening meeting discussed the next stage in perusing drug testing of the student body.
Discussion began on what penalties and policies should be taken in dealing with this problem if students do indeed test positive for any drug substance. Boonville High School Principal Jeff Brackman said the variables of the testing are great.
"The next step is determining who we involve and what it should look like," Brackman said. "There are a lot of pieces that must be decided by the board."
Brackman also said the cost is the greatest factor because the range of testing is determined by how many substances are being tested for.
Boonville School District Superintendent Mark Ficken addressed the board saying that when looking at cost, the best thing to do would be to give a cost figure overall and work their way down and figure what drugs they want to test for and how many students they want to choose from the student body.
School board member Brenda Campbell who is on the 14 person Random Drug Drug Screening Committee to discuss the drug issues in the school district, said that although there were a lot of opinions at first, everyone was in agreement that something has to be done.
"This is something the committee wanted to bring forward to the board," Campbell said.
Campbell said when talking to other districts about drug testing, they told her when adopting the procedures and policies, the district must not stray from them but enforce them every time.
Ficken said that there is still a lot of work to do in regards to policy making. He urged the council to read all of the recommended policies while they are on Thanksgiving break.
"We are not even close to making a final decision yet," Ficken said.
Ficken said he wants to hear from more people if they are for or against the testing.
"We must decide if we want to go down this road like other districts have," Ficken said.
Ficken said it is up to the board to make the final decision.
"I think there a lot of positives that can come out of this," Campbell said.
The next Random Drug Screening Committee meeting will be December 6 p.m. at the Boonville High School. Anyone is welcome to attend.