Ste. Genevieve R-II Board of Education members and administrators emphasized last week the district’s new drug-testing policy was designed to help students, not to hurt them.
The board voted during its meeting last Thursday to approve the updated policy after about 25 minutes of discussion, in which R-II athletic director Jeff Nix outlined the procedure the committee went through to arrive at the new policy.
The committee consisted of board members, administrators, teachers, parents, students and residents, including Mayor Paul Hassler.
It met three times and looked at what types of policies other Mineral Area Activities Association (MAAA) schools have.
Six of the other 11 schools in the association conduct drug testing.
Nix said the committee requested specific details from those six schools on how they handle the testing and the ensuing discipline.
“It was really interesting; it was really informational when we got that from the schools,” Nix said, “because it kind of opened our eyes a little bit on a few things.”
The biggest eye-opener was on how they discipline those who test positive.
“One of the things we decided right off the bat was that everything we’re going to do on this committee, moving forward, is going to be to help students, not to drug test students to catch them,” Nix said.
The prior R-II policy banned students from extracurricular activities for a full year for drug use. Nix said the committee members were surprised to find that most of the other schools had a policy of banning a first-time offender for 30 days. In some cases, the ban was 15 days if the student participated in a drug treatment program.
See complete story in the June 26 edition of the Herald.