Headed to the District Finals Betty D Cox Michael L Evans Thelma R Stamper Therese A Boerger Lady Indians go down in straight sets to Valley in sectional play Manchester hosts the inaugural Southern Ohio Cheer Challenge NAHS girls claim soccer sectional title Seas siblings are SHAC Cross-Country champions Lady Devils will collect fourth consecutive SHAC gold ball trophy Lady Hounds ousted in sectional tourney opener Peebles Lions Club holding Thanksgiving fund raiser FFA Fruit sales have begun, run until Nov. 18 Historical marker is repaired PES will present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Eagle Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center Open House showcases new unit PES teacher honored by ACOVSD Board Friends of North Adams Library dedicate new brick Veterans Memorial Senior Profile: Landon Wright Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award

MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students

The Manchester Local School District recently voted to institute a drug testing program.  From left, Ashley Grooms, Kathleen Stacy, Dave McFarland, Terry Himes, and Rick Foster.
The Manchester Local School District recently voted to institute a drug testing program. From left, Ashley Grooms, Kathleen Stacy, Dave McFarland, Terry Himes, and Rick Foster.

Will the expensive, unproven program deter substance abuse?   Proponents  argue it’s worth the cost to find out –

By Patricia Beech –

Should public school students be drug tested?
It’s a controversial subject and even though statistics do not yet back up the effectiveness of such programs, many high schools  across the country are turning to this approach to fight the growing  drug problem.
During the 2016-17 school year Manchester Local School District (MLSD) will become the first Adams County school to implement drug  testing for students involved in extra-curricular and co-curricular  activities.
“We discussed the pros and cons over several meetings,” said MLSD  board member Rick Foster. “I believe that the District can contribute to solving the overall drug problem in our region by holding our students to a high standard. The intent never has been to ‘target’ or  ‘catch’ students. It will hopefully steer them away from this behavior  in the first place.”
However, not all the MLSD board members agree with Foster’s  assessment of the program’s purpose or its effectiveness.
“I’m a veteran and I fought for our rights,” said board member  Terry Himes. “I believe that drug testing is invasive and we’re presuming guilt before innocence. I think it does more to drive a a stake between adults and children in school. When you tell a student you’re going to drug test them it conveys the idea that they aren’t trusted. So why would they trust any adult?”
The conundrum for school administrators charged with providing a  safe, supportive, and healthy school environment is the dismal lack of  effective, non-  invasive drug prevention programs that work. Given the  absence of proven solutions many school districts have opted for the  lesser of two evils.
“The effectiveness of this policy will be proven if even just one student makes a choice not to use drugs,” said Foster. “If this new  policy can enhance a culture of zero tolerance for drug use in our community, it’s worth it.”
Thus far, there has been no systematic examination of the effectiveness of drug testing in public schools. Study results have  been mixed and inconclusive. Some participating schools do not have lower reports of drug use, while others have shown a link between drug testing and the prevalence of drug use.
Given the lack of scientific data supporting the effectiveness of drug testing, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a  strong position that student drug testing is not recommended.
Most experts do agree that nurturing a culture of trust between students and adults is fundamental to reducing drug use in public schools.
Himes worries that the policy adopted by the Manchester district will erode the student trust.
“We’re going to drug test them because we don’t believe they’re not doing drugs because they’re so prevalent out there,” he said. “I believe you trust a kid, and when they mess up  you offer advice, you love them, you hug them, and ask them what’s  wrong, what can we do for you, what’s the problem? I don’t feel like  this policy does that.”
Himes says he believes the money used for drug testing would have  been better spent on drug prevention measures.
“We never talked about cost during our discussions,” he said. “I was in favor of hiring a counselor with this money. If a student has a  drug problem they can talk to a counselor in confidence, they can ask  for help and advice. Instead we adopted a policy that says we’re going to test you, we’re going to suspend you for two games, and we’re going  to tell you where you can go for help, but we can’t make you go. I  feel like we’ve done nothing to help the kids by adopting this policy.  All we’ve done is said gotcha.”
The program instituted by the MLSD board requires that students in grades 7 through 12 who participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities be subject to random, suspicion-less drug  testing.
Extra-curricular activities include interscholastic sports such  as football, baseball, cross-county, volleyball, cheerleading, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Academic Team, school musicals, and  Color Guard. Co-Curricular activities include (but are not limited to) marching band, Future Farmers of America, and Choir.
Himes argues that targeting these groups is unfair. “Sometimes the extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are the only things that keep a kid in school and achieving,” he said. “And they’re also the kids who are least likely to be using drugs anyway.”
The testing may also include students not participating in  extra-curricular or co-curricular activities who voluntarily, and in  cooperation with their parents, guardians, or custodians, have chosen  to be included in the testing program.
The drug panel test includes (but is not limited to) alcohol,  marijuana, amphetamines, Methadone, Methaqualone, barbiturates,  benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, and Propophene (Darvon).
Students testing positive will not be suspended or expelled from  school, nor will they be penalized academically, and any co-curricular  activity missed by a student testing positive will be replaced by learning assignments so overall grade average is not effected.
Further, the results of drug tests will not be documented in any student’s academic record, and information regarding the results of drug tests will not be disclosed to criminal or juvenile authorities  without legal compulsion by subpoena or other legal process.
The lack of documentation and protection from future disclosure doesn’t change Himes’ concerns about students in the district.
“For kids in Manchester, with our demographics, the school is the  best place they’re going to be all day,” he says. “For a lot of them it’s the only food they’ll get all day. And now if feels to me like we’re a penal system.”

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