MT. ZION – The Mt. Zion Board of Education decided to remove the implementation of the random drug test policy for this coming school year.
Tuesday night the school board met to discuss amendments to the policy after they approved the random drug test policy back in May. That discussion opened the floor for parents, students and the community to voice their opinion on the policy. Some felt it should stay, while many believed they should remove the policy altogether.
The policy was initially instituted to test all students who participated in extracurricular activities like sports and clubs. The amendment would have reduced the amount of extracurricular activities included in the policy and would have lessened the penalties for a positive test. For some, amendments weren’t good enough.
Jill Phillips is a mother of a Mt. Zion Junior who spoke up and said she would rather see money from this policy go towards an education program instead of testing.
“I have looked into an education program that is interactive with the kids and teachers that can ultimately be run with resources already provided by the school,” says Phillips. “I think kids need conversations where they are treated like the adults they are.”
Tyler Smith is a junior at Mt. Zion High School and says he is in favor of the policy, but it definitely needs to be reworked.
“In my experience, most of the drug users don’t even participate in extracurricular activities,” says Smith. “Of course, there are probably some, but if they get suspended from that activity, I think that will just give them more time to abuse drugs after all.”
Since the board is unanimously in favor of the policy, Phillips says they may have to take legal action in the future, although she doesn’t want it to come to that.
The Mt. Zion School board decided to table the discussion and implementation of the drug test policy for at least the 2016-2017 school year, but may bring the policy back for a vote at a later meeting.