School Board Considers Drug Testing
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 28, 2017
The trustees for Park County School District 6 are deliberating another controversial policy – drug testing for its students.
While much attention has been focused on the board’s consideration of a policy allowing armed staff on site in the schools, at their most recent meeting, trustees heard from a committee that this year surveyed students, staff and parents regarding the effectiveness of drug testing.
Diane Ballard, who along with Wendy Morris coordinated the survey as part of the West Park Hospital Prevention and Wellness office, says the school board decided last year to drop their drug testing policy, but wanted to gather some key information that would help them to determine the effectiveness of that particular tool.
Ballard says that while the majority of people surveyed supported the idea of drug testing, their office concluded that as a stand-alone strategy, it falls short.
Ballard said they interviewed over 60 staff members on all strategies that go to support wellness. A wellness survey was then developed, along with a prevention needs assessment, which showed that students are increasing their use of drugs, and they don’t perceive that marijuana is as risky as it used to be.
Ballard adds that their committee was not tasked with recommendations to the board, simply to present information, but says the group hopes that the school will continue to invest resources in promoting student wellness.