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GCSC considers breathalyzer tests

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is testing every student who enters an athletic event or a school dance for alcohol use a realistic effort?

The Greencastle School Board is considering a policy to use breathalyzer testing of students at extra-curricular events and at school.

Superintendent Bob Green said he has heard interest from parents about testing students at events such as dances, sports events, and particularly the prom. The Carmel school district does alcohol testing, and Green said he was able to ask the Carmel superintendent recently about the program.

"She said it was a good thing," Green told school board members Mike Dean, Barry Fisher, Jack Berry, Barbara Bryan and Mark Kannowski.

The high school already has two breathalyzers, Principal Jim Church told the school board. But whether anyone has been trained to use them was unknown.

And the logistics of using them was also questioned.

"If we do it at a basketball game," Dean asked, "do we do it for the students who don't go to Greencastle, too?"

"No," Green responded. "Carmel has a special entrance that the students go to and they test only their own students."

But Fisher said he was concerned that if students knew they would be tested for alcohol, they might do some other drugs instead.

"We don't want to test for alcohol to the point that kids do something worse," he said.

A breathalyzer can be an important tool, he added, but he was uncertain about sending every student through it.

And if a student tests positive, what is done with that student at that time, board members wondered. Are they handed over to police, or just denied entry into an event, which could put them behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated?

That is part of the issue to consider, Green said.

Bryan added that she has heard that a big concern for parents is alcohol at prom.

Green said he presented the issue for the board's consideration only during their February meeting. He agreed to research it further and supply additional information.

Meanwhile, the school board learned that its corn boilers have been on line for a few weeks after receiving state approval, and heating costs have been declining because of that use.

Green said that as long as corn, which is now at $4.91 a bushel, remains less than $9 per bushel, the school district will save money on heating costs at the high school.

In personnel matters, the board approved:

* Laura Parks as a volunteer assistant coach for high school girls track.

* A leave of absence for Kathleen Wilson.

* The resignation of Audra Millican as noon aide, and the hiring of Jennifer Peckenpaugh as noon aide at Deer Meadow.

* Logan Kuhne as middle school assistant wrestling coach.

* The resignation due to retirement of Melba Thomas at the middle school.

* Hiring Micah Carver as temporary instructional assistant at Ridpath.

In other business, the board:

* Learned that Kristen Field is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

* Learned that the GMS Science Online Bowl team tied for first place in the state competition.

* Agreed to keep their pay rate for meetings at the current $52, rather than increase it to $62 per committee meeting.

* Accepted a $500 donation from The Wood Group to purchase books for the One Book Project at GHS.

The next session of the Greencastle School Board is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 at the Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St. The meeting is open to the public.

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If a student is tested for alcohal use and is tested negative, what is done? I would think that is would be quite embarrassing for a youth to have to do this. Just something to think about.

-- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 6:14 AM

I think it's a great idea to test students and atheletes, but what about testing coaches, volunteers, teachers and administrators? Are background checks done on volunteer coaches??? How does Greencastle expect students & atheletes to abide by the rules if teachers and coaches don't? If a student see's you leaving a bar, what example is that, or coaches-teachers having alcohol parties after games??? What about volunteers being arrested for possesion of paraphernalia?

-- Posted by Casey7780 on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 8:05 AM

Are you serious?! Dances and Proms,not a bad idea,but every event involving school?I don't think you're giving enough credit to the students.You will always have those who violate the rules,push them to the limit,and blame others for their poor judgement,that's life. Like it or not,not all are taught to take responability for their actions. As for setting good examples, I'm pretty sure most teachers are doing that,what they do on their time is their business.If, by chance,it's something illegal,they will, in time be held accountable for their actions.Why not ask the students what they think about the idea.Who knows,they might surprise all of us.

-- Posted by redrose2 on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 5:33 PM

Yes, I will agree on the idea of doing this at the dances and proms because I went to a prom at North Putnam one year and had to do it before we entered the dance as well as post prom. This is awesome! Do you know how many students get in accidents on occasions such as these because of alcohol and substances. I just recently graduated from high school and if I were still a student; I wouldn't mind having to do this if it were the simple matter of just watching out for people. You're not taking rights away from any student by doing this if all students have to pass through it. After all, If everyone has to do it, it's not like they are just picking and choosing you out to embarrass you. I just don't understand why it was so fun for my class as well as many other classes of GHS and surrounding schools to come to games and dances while drunk and high. There is a lot more to life than this stupid substance abuse method so many teens and young adults are partaking in.

-- Posted by cattlequeen on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 10:24 PM

This will not help anyone. The kids who are getting high and drunk are going to continue to do so, even if it means skipping out on a game.

Many of the children making the decision to do drugs and drink alcohol are only doing so because they are trying to fill a hole. This will only create more. It further ostracizes these troubled children from society, and that is the last thing they need.

Also, the majority of these children are already lacking in self-confidence, hence their drug use, and are not very good at making their own decisions. Is it really conducive to force these kids to take a breathalyzer? Won't this only reenforce and add to their submissiveness? I can't see this helping. I see it as conditioning, and that is not a valid form of prevention.

I was acquainted with two recent victims to drug overdose. I will not abide another early death. If our educators really want to help, they should be offering alternatives to drug and alcohol abuse, not take activities away. That is senseless, and I am appalled this seems to fly over the heads of people that claim to be concerned. Think. America's youth depends on it. What are the long-term consequences of our actions? Are we posing a solution that will only cause more problems, or are we taking the problem out at its source? Children need to be exposed to encouragement, not martial law.

-- Posted by Нарисов& on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 10:47 PM

oceangirl-I also attended your old school North Putnam. When I was asked to take a drug test, I adamantly declined. I agree with our Greek friend. It is not the responsibility of the school to regulate all of students' lives. Sure, in areas that directly concern the school's well-being, the school is warranted to intervene. It is the parent's job to govern their children. If the parent is negligent, that is indeed a shame, but it is not an invitation for someone else to accept the responsibility of caring for that child. There is a reason they are called educators and parents are called guardians. Not to mention the obvious flaws in the whole idea surrounding the policy of drug-testing and using breathalyzers on students.

First of all, no person of authority should ever base their disciplinary tactics on fear. Fear is not a healthy motivation. It is a well-know fact that fear does not justify law. Law is only sanctified by positive ideas. That is why people can justify religion. Religion is accepted as a positive motivation because it sanctifies law. Paul described law as the justification of sin. In theory, it is possible to reach salvation through law alone, but it is not humanly possible to do so. I am not religious, but this is valid. In Paul's words, before man knew Christ, they were in a state of sinful nature. Christ brought truth to Christians, in effect, sanctifying law by building from the inside; they based their law on truth. This is not the case with the matter at hand.

Fear is a product of untruth. It is the idea that the way to prevent a problem is by making people fearful of the law. The only reason people will follow this law is to ensure they do not hurt themselves by being punished. It is a hedonistic ideology that's only focus is submission of the weak, and the weak only follow it because they want to protect their own well-being. I had a friend who hanged himself over fear of failing a drug-test, I'm sure you know of whom I speak. Is that what you call a solution to the drug problem? I'm sure you have plenty of examples, but none of those are valid because all of them were detrimental to the child. You were lied to.

Our youth need an alternative, and like I've said, taking alternatives away from children is the most idiotic example of thoughtless administration that I have ever seen. You said that children who failed a drug-test were placed in mandatory counseling. Ha. You may be a living walking contradiction. It's a wonder more people can't see how transparent your ill-conceived ideas are. Counseling is the act, by means of a professional, of giving advice. Did you know that giving advice, by definition, is a form of issuing guidance or recommendations concerning the future. Neither of those can be imposed on someone. Mandatory counseling is an impossibility. Think about the contradictions. They're endless. Everything about your idealistic code of laws is contradictory. You must offer a form of alternative motivation that is not based on lies. It has to be something that that leads to an understanding of the law, not a justification. Anything can be justified. Hitler was justified. Osama Bin Laden was justified. You are justified. Any action can be justified. Most are not sanctified(both religiously and otherwise).

By upholding these policies, you and the people supporting these policies are terrorists and murderers. You are bombarding our youth with fear in order to reach what you have pinned as a state of well-being. This is exactly what is going on today. Take the attack on the World Trade Center. Islamic extremists crashed planes into American buildings, and why did they do this? To instill fear in the American people. Why did they want that? You guessed it. In order to motivate Americans to comply with what they desired. An Islamic world population. Same thing with nearly every other tragedy caused by man. Please think about your actions. You are responsible for protecting our children now. You are a grown up. Act like one. Think.

-- Posted by Нарисов& on Thu, Feb 21, 2008, at 7:50 PM

Why must everyone get in a frenzy about this whole topic. All the school corporation wants to do is set standards so that maybe.. just maybe.. some prevention can come into play. I know that so many students partake in drugs and alcohol and by doing the breathalyzers it will not stop it by any means, but they just want to help. I may sound like a total nazi parent, but I am not even a parent; I am a teenager still and definitely think that something can be good about this.

These students are in high school many can make their own decisions by now about how they act; there doesn't need to be any parent consent to have these tests done. Most people that will give you that statement are the ones who do the drugs and alcohol themselves and have nothing better to do then cause trouble with the administration because you don't want to get blamed or caught for your ill actions.

Grow up and face the consequences. Alcohol and drug use is a lousy excuse to hide your so called problems; that's what counseling and self control is for! If you have a problem get help the right way.

-- Posted by cattlequeen on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 12:21 AM

Molon Labe-I completely agree. Good to meet you as well, I didn't realize we had formed a coalition. Ha.

Oh, where to begin? First of all, oceangirl and cattlequeen; your half-baked ideas were all so similarly baseless that I accidently assigned you both the same identity...

Hopefully this will clear things up.

oceangirl-I assumed that your thoughtless statements were a result of your naiveness. Now that I have read your former posts...

you claim that you are actually a grown woman? You fooled me. To think that a grown woman can't better dissect an issue than say, some high schooler.

You claim that I believe-"[And by what your saying] everyone should be able to do any and everything they want to do no matter the consequences."?

I was amazed at this concept. Oh, how human thought processes can go amiss. Did you even read my post?

I assume the arrière-pensée for making a statement like that would have to be one of a defensive ulterior. The only consequences I even addressed in my thesis were those of "mandatory counseling" and the loss of alternatives and activities. The reason those are ineffective has already been established.

Maybe you should try to disprove my theories instead of just incessantly reiterating baseless blather over and over and over. That is what I am alluding to when I talk about your habit of refraining from taking part in intelligent discourse. It is not possible without thought, and you seem to have a very feudalistic understanding thereof. A law is not just only because it's a law. (Maybe you should go comment on the lack of highway salt article. It is a little less thought-provoking.)

Some laws are just, and the consequences are necessary, and even some others are naturally occurring. I would never make a comment like that. I am not in the habit of making senseless observations. I know that some things I simply can't do because, well, there are consequences.

"As for your friend Molon Labe stating that the reason these students are using drugs or drinking alcohol is to fill a hole in their life....That is a bunch of garbage. I grew up in a low income family surrounded by friends who had money, I grew up with a father whom i rarely saw while in high school, however I never felt the need to drink or do drugs."

Actually, I said that, and your response doesn't relay any application to my statement.

"Many of the children making the decision to do drugs and drink alcohol are only doing so because they are trying to fill a hole."

I didn't even say all kids who do drugs have holes, however they do--we all have holes--I said "most". Secondly, the population I was describing was that of the youth drug-users. You "claim" to have never belonged to that group. I get really uptight about this. How the he... whoops you almost pushed me over the edge there. How does your impoverished childhood have anything to do with that. You had holes? Well, by that logic, everyone should be doing drugs, and in that case you would not be so set on the idea of drug-testing, but, that is obviously not the case.

"I'm very impressed that you use big words and quotes from the bible, someone who seems intelligent, but are you really. If you feel that I am not thinking, then why don't you tell me the solution to all of this, or would you like a society where there are no rules??"

Ha, I was not sure what purpose the "--are you really." served, I originally thought it was a question of my intelligence, but I was quite relieved when I noticed you ended in a period. Thank you. From you, that really means a lot. (wryly).

Now, for the solution. Stop imposing yourself on others; don't support others imposing themselves on you; and thoroughly dissect every problem you are ever faced with objectively and without haste. That's my advice. Don't do it if you don't think it's true, I'm not about justification.

cattlequeen-I'm not going to bother pointing out the flaws in your advise. Just read my last paragraph and see if you can dig that.

Please do not reply unless you have a response with some substance and supportive evidence. You established nothing in your last comments. A waste of brain-function. Give me a legitimate argument... I yearn for some intelligent disproval.

-- Posted by Нарисов& on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 12:18 PM

Look, I addressed everyone of your claims before you posted them. That's weird.

-- Posted by Нарисов& on Sun, Feb 24, 2008, at 7:08 PM

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