Southern eyes drug-testing policy

SALINEVILLE-Southern Local’s Board of Education and Superintendent John Wilson have drafted a drug-testing policy for student-athletes and district students participating in extracurricular activities.

Wilson and the board now are inviting the community to weigh-in and voice their opinions on the proposed policy.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, Wilson reported he and the board policy committee, consisting of himself and board members Andrew Frischkorn and Linda Morris, had developed the rough draft over the “last several months.”

Under the proposed drug testing policy, students in grades 7-12 participating in sports or extracurricular activities would be subject to random drug screenings. Extracurricular activities are defined as any school activity beyond the normal school day, such as sports, band or any after-school clubs, according to Wilson. Any student holding a parking permit also would be subject to random drug testing.

Wilson said the board plans to share more details of the proposed policy and gather feedback from the community by hosting a series of meetings. The first meeting will be a public forum, slated 6 p.m. Aug. 27 in Room E-136 of the school. District residents are invited attend and voice their opinions and ask questions about the policy.

The board hopes to host an informational meeting in October, in which representatives from other school districts that have adopted similar policies and private drug testing companies will be present to provide information about how drug testing policies have worked elsewhere.

If all goes as planned, the district could adopt the policy as early as January-February 2015.

“We definitely have a rough draft of the drug testing policy in hand and we just want to be able to have a shared decision-making process throughout the community and get everybody involved and informed,” said Wilson.

In other business:

* The board accepted the following resignations: Heather Monteleone; Robert Marra, as stadium manager; Jimmy Malone, as sophomore class advisor.

* The board approved the following hires, effective with the 2014-15 school year: Jess Krulik, as athletic director; Greg Sabbato, as junior high athletic director; Tiffany Hamilton, as full-time bus driver; and Kylee Corbin, as stadium event manager

* The board approved the following coaching positions, effective with the 2014-15 school year: Anthony Saccoccia, as junior varsity boys basketball coach and assistant varsity football coach; Kylee Corbin, as junior high cheerleading advisor; Aaron Blatch, as 7th grade boys basketball coach; Brittany Madison, as junior high volleyball coach; Cody Reese, as 8th grade boys basketball coach; Joe Bonam, as volunteer junior high basketball coach; Gary Bowling, as a band volunteer; Kyle Woodward, as volunteer football coach; Tai McLourg, as volunteer football coach; and Megan Shirley, as volunteer junior high cheerleading advisor.