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BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Drug Testing Discussed at Senate Level: Student Feedback Sought

On March 2, Student Senate met with Mr. Weddig to discuss what steps we can take to keep drugs out of our school.  As the discussion progressed, two approaches were outlined: random testing and reasonable suspicion testing.  Random testing would be just that — regular, but random testing. The drawback on this one is expense. The second approach, one that senators spent much more time on, is reasonable suspicion drug testing.

Reasonable suspicion drug testing centers on just that–a reaonable suspicion that a student is under the influence of a controlled substance. Staff would be trained to identify 20 characteristics of drug use and if a student exhibited three or more of the characteristics, a referral could be made to the office.

At that point, some screening would take place involving the principal, school nurse, and guidance. If they agree, then a test can be ordered–it would be similar to the type of testing that would occur at a traffic stop. Refusal to submit to the test would be the same as being found guilty.

Now that the senate is geared up to take on the issue, what do you think? 

How do we keep drugs out of the school?  How do we keep the school a safe environment for students? 

Please take some time to respond to these questions in the comment area below–your responses matter.  Each will be forwarded to your student senators and administrators.  Remember, you must leave your full name to make a comment; it may take a few minutes for your comment to be approved, so only comment once.

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  • L

    Lizzie CookMar 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for the imput all the way from Denmark, Andy!

  • C

    Camille GunningMar 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I think the reasonable suspicion drug testing policy is a good idea; however, the school district can’t really afford it right now. When the school district has the money to afford the reasonable suspicion drug testing, then it will be a good start to making the school drug-free; but what happens when kids get caught with drugs? They will probably get expelled and they wouldn’t get help for their problem and it won’t better their future in anyway…. On the other hand, some students might try to quit doing drugs if they know that the school is going to enforce the reasonable suspicion drug testing policy.

  • A

    Andy EppsMar 12, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Drug testing is not being discussed as a punishment to students, but as a solution to a terrible problem. BRFHS students should be ashamed that such a ridiculous problem is taking over the school. Not only is this problem wasting valuable time and effort, but it is also taking away from the academic purpose. How disrespectful do you have to be to poison the school enviroment with drugs? What kind of message is that giving to the administration, staff and community? Your flat-out dumb decision to bring illegal substances onto school property is not only affecting you, but every single person in the school, which no longer makes your decision personal or “your own business”, because that decision is putting everyone else’s safety at risk. Have some respect for your fellow peers and use some common sense.
    I am, however, not in favor of drug testing, at this point. Drug education needs to be more prevalant and effective. The taboo around drugs needs to change. If we create a taboo about drugs and its education, what lesson is going to be taken away? The same goes with sex. If we distant ourselves from sex education and the taboo that surrounds it, nothing will be learned.

  • N

    Nikkole LeisgangMar 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I really recomend doing the resonable suspition!!!!

  • J

    Jordan NortmanMar 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I am highly in favor of reasonable suspistion drug testing in our school. Notice how it is reasonable suspistion and not random like many people seem to think. We obviously have a problem with drugs/alcohol in the school if this issue even has to be thought about. I am starting to become annoyed with people who arnt in favor because they feel like it is going to make our school look bad, or it is violating their rights, or the broken record of its none of the schools business. Well for making our school look bad, the people that are using drugs and alcohol have already accomplished that so we dont have to worry about that problem. When you come to school, you give up your rights, so the school is able to test anyone who has “reasonable suspicion” if they want to. People are right it is none of the schools business about what you do out of school on the weekends or afterward, however it is the schools business when you come to school and are still having effects from what your actions from the time out of school. People need to stop complaining about drug testing in our school for it can only make the atmosphere better.

  • P

    PS RykkenMar 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

    There are a lot of good ideas being woven into this discussion. Here’s one point of clarification concerning the role of the Senate: the students that sit on the Senate were elected to represent students in the building — each of them has a district of roughly 28 students. As the advisor, I will tell you that they try hard to do that and I remind them continually that the Senate is not a club — it has a different responsibility. We are learning about how democratic government works.

    As for this particular vote, realize that on Tuesday (3.16) we will be voting on whether or not to endorse (approve) this idea, but that we do not have the power to implement the policy — that’s the job of the school board and the administration.

    Thanks and keep the comments rolling.

  • N

    Nikkole LeisgangMar 11, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I think that Resonible saspition is a good idea because many of the students might quit doing drugs if they get expelled or suspended..

  • M

    Megan RykkenMar 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    At first, I wasn’t really feelin the idea of drug testing, I didn’t think that our school really needed it. I started to hear others opinions and it made me mad because no one understood.
    So. I think what you all need to know, the point of all of this is..
    we DON’T want to have drugs and alcohol in our school. We don’t want to have kids in our school during the day who are high or drunk or messed up or whatever. We really don’t care what you do outside of school, on the weekends, when you go home. We don’t care. We DO care about what you’re like at school. If you wanna get high on the weekend at a party, have fun. Its up to you. If you wanna drink when you get home from school, go ahead. Because we don’t care. What we do care about is whether or not you’re high or drunk during school. The responsibility of the school and the teachers and administrators is to keep kids safe during the day. And no offense, but I don’t really feel like being around people who are high or drunk while i’m at school. Because that is low. That’s lame. Why would you do that anyway at school? It really doesn’t make sense. I’m not judging you about what you go through. I don’t know what your homelife is like. I didn’t say that you doing drugs or alcohol was up to me or the school or anyone. Its all your choice. You can do what you want. But I don’t think that it is necessary to bring it into school.
    As for how much it costs, it is a couple hundred dollars. And it isn’t random. It is only if you’re showing signs. You can look at the signs online. You can ask the student senate questions, you can ask Mr. Weddig questions, rather than making up complaints and rumors about it.

  • T

    Trevor QuinnMar 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I think that suspicion based drug testing would be better for our school then doing nothing at all because we are letting some people getting away with drugs. If we do some testing, then we have a chance we could catch and suspend them form school. If they want to mess up their lives, go for it, not my problem. I just dont want drugs at this school.

  • B

    Bryce KoppMar 11, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I think drug testing would be better for our school. Sure we don’t have the money right now but it’s only going to cost $300 for the whole year. The only problem is what’s going to happen to the kids when they get expelled for having drugs on them or using drugs? They lose the chance for an education and they will still be using drugs. If anything give those students an alternitive program where they can still earn the chance to learn.

  • C

    Cassie ZinnsMar 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I think that its a good idea, but it wouldnt work. There are alot of steps involved in setting it up, and the senate hasnt even passed the open campus policy. Also, some people could just be hyper, or tierd, or have a cold and if you suspected them for something they would be mad, (I WOULD!) But, if the senate could fuigure it out, and have it cost little it would be good for the school. Doing drugs is stupid, and we should punish the people who do them.

  • T

    Treton BrownMar 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I don’t think this is fair to the kids who don’t do drugs because seriously who doesn’t come to school tired.

  • K

    kaiden huggettMar 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    ok i dont understand how this needs to be voted on just by student senant, this should be a school wide vote. also what kids do at home/weekends isnt the schools business. if kids do drugs out of school. then why should the school stick there nose in our business. most kids at our school dont do drugs during school. so why should kids get in trouble for that, if it doesnt even happen on school grounds.

  • B

    Brandon NabakMar 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Why doesnt the school just get over the fact that this isnt going to help in any way, like are you trying to scare the school. first you must have teh permission of parents to let you test there kids. which isnt going to go to well in most cases. and what would you do? suspend us? there goes how many kids? not getting there education? and if this goes through we are just gonna look like a lame school. like some of the other major schools around here. it will just make our school look bad. our school is starting to get rediculous. straight up.

  • D

    Devyn MurphyMar 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Why was my opinion taken off???

  • C

    Courtney MorrisMar 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I think the drug tests are a bad idea. And I think the consequences for failing a drug test are ridiculous, so if a kid in the high school test positive to a drug test, there consequence is getting expelled from school? come on! is that what you want for are students is for them to just be expelled from school? I think if a student test positive the school needs to help that particular student or students not take there education away!
    But on another note
    i dont think the drug tests are a good idea.

  • G

    Gregg KoboskiMar 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I believe we should hold off on the drug testing. It costs too much.

  • M

    Mason wallMar 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Who’s there?

  • K

    Kyle RickertMar 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I do agree that the reasonable suspicion testing is a great idea to help keep our school drug free. Instead of using it to catch and suspend drug users, however, I believe it should be used to find the people in need of further help. If someone is using drugs there is probably more going on in their life than we know about (This still isn’t and excuse in my opinion). Instead of punishing them with servere punishments, I still think a more minor punishment should be given, but we should focus on helping them get through whatever problem they may have. All in all, I think the reasonable suspicion testing is a good idea to use as a tool to get somone further help, but I don’t think we can afford it quite yet.

  • K

    Karla BurrightMar 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I think that drug testing would
    cost to much, we are even firn’
    teachers.I think that it would be
    a good idea if we had the money
    I think that we should help
    the kids that are doing drugs to
    help them make a better dessions
    in life.

  • E

    ELahmayerMar 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

    The reasoable suspicion drug testing will not be intrusive, nor will it bother regular students at school. If you get high on the weekends or after school, then they won’t or can’t test you because they (schoolteachers, etc.)aren’t seeing it or the symptoms. However, if you are high at school then there IS reasonable suspicion. I honestly think if you can’t wait the eight hours of a school day before you get high again, or if you wake up in the morning and get high first thing before coming to school then you have a problem, and something needs to be done.

    I do think we need to do something rather than just throw kids out of school. That won’t solve the problem. As many have said they will just do what they did in school at home.

  • C

    Carley HentschMar 10, 2010 at 11:37 am

    i think Drug testing is a very good idea for our high school. But, then you have to look at are budgets and think “can we really afford this right now?” Dont get me wrong I think it’s fantastic to try to make a school drug free, but a good idea for later.

  • N

    Nathan johnsonMar 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

    drug testing is a vary vary bad idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • M

    Mason WallMar 10, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I think that there are alot of unaswered questions with the drug testing policy that is being proposed. like, what if someone does do a drug out of school and test positive? what are the consequences? also the list of 20 things are very broad and can not prove anything. tiredness? we go to school at 8:00 a.m. and were teenagers were obivously gunna be tired. or shakiness i shake all of the time do to medical issues so what happens then? I feel like there are to many open ended questions and statistics.
    also budgets cost which have already been adressed but honestly alot of parents arn’t going to be able to afford higher lunch cost or parking permits or even yearbooks to pay for drug testing. Our schools have been ran perfectly fine for how many years? Every year kids graduate and kids get in trouble. thats what high school is and all of this has gotten way out of hand.

  • M

    Mike FirkinsMar 10, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I think drug testing is a terrible idea.
    First of all, the school should care about their studants, but if you kick more kids out of school all they are going to do is sit at home and do more drugs.
    this does not solve the problem of drugs, but it just says to the kids found guilty “your on your own”. Why cant we offer more counsling instead of kicking kids out?

    I dont think this is going to get fair support from the people who are agianst this idea. Many people wont want to say that they oppose this idea because they dont want people to think they do drugs.

  • L

    Lucas MathewsMar 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I agree with Cole, if we can’t afford to keep our teachers in the classroom why are we drug testing? I don’t have a problem with drug testing in school, random or reasonable suspicion. I agree that you shouldnt use drugs or alcohol in school, or before school. But I think what people do in their free time is their buisness. If some kid went out and smoked a little bit of bud on friday night what does that have to do with class on monday? Nothing he didn’d hurt anything or anyone.

  • C

    Chelsea TuckerMar 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    and also, whose to say that students are doing drugs because they’re “masking their problems”, some kids do it just because. Good luck trying to pull that sucker away from the toddler.

  • C

    Chelsea TuckerMar 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I don’t think this is any of the school’s business. If they’re not affecting anyone at the school via fights or aggressiveness, it should not be a concern to the school. I agree there are drug problems in the school, but I could also guarantee that most every high school in Wisconsin, or any state for that matter, has some sort of drug problem. It’s high school, people are “experimenting”, it’s illegal, yes, but most of what teenagers do is.
    On another note, if your going to make a big deal out of drugs, what about pregnancy, I don’t see a class handing out condoms or anything of that sort. As a matter of fact being under the age of 18 in Wisconsin, that also is illegal.
    Drugs can help some students in a way, and if they’re not causing a problem, let it go.

  • R

    rikka bakkenMar 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I agree with Austin; having a drug policy in place would be great, but right now we have other problems as well. We are in a recession, and we should probably wait.
    I don’t think a drug test based on reasonable suspician would violate somones privacy. And also; there is nothing in the constitution that defends our right to privacy. Not exactly anyway. Yes, there is the fourth ammendment (at least i think it’s the fourth ammendment…) that says police need a warrant to search your house, but there is no ammendment that defends our right to personal privacy. Maybe there should be, but that’s something future politicains can fight for. 🙂

  • J

    jason wingeMar 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

    i do not think that it is the schools buisness what we do on our own time out of school. and they do not need to cause more problems at school by bringing it to school athority.

  • A

    Austin MargMar 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I really have mixed emotions. I agree, maybe the testing is used to cover-up poor ways of educating us in the past and this is kind of used to make our school look better. However, you can’t blame the school for anyone’s drug use. We can be told a message so many times but at the end of the day, we make our choices and we face the consequences whatever they may be.

    Secondly, I agree with the money issue. I think this is an awesome idea, but not for today. Though it’s necessary, in a time of recession we just don’t have the money to spend for it yet. This is a good idea…for the future.

  • H

    Hunter Shawley (again)Mar 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    “Drug tests are an easy fix for school administrators who feel that they must take a public stand on drugs, but have had little success with drug education programs like DARE. They are banking on the theory that the fear of getting caught with tainted urine will compel students not to smoke pot or sniff coke.”- as one source says.

  • K

    Kristin GetterMar 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I agree with reasonable suspicion because it is not invading anyone’s privacy. Those who are innocent don’t have to worry about anything.

  • A

    ALTurnerMar 5, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I feel that’s it better that the school board is trying to protect the students from drugs rather than not doing anything at all. And they were already making cuts before the drug testing idea came around.
    Also, if you arent on drugs than you have nothing to lose. They just want the school to be a safe and drug free place.

  • H

    Hunter ShawleyMar 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Schools are getting too involved, it not only puts a strain on the educational system but aslo distracts from the ROOT of the problem. What happens when these “guilty” kids get expelled? We just kick them to the streets because they’re not good enough? And then what? they still do drugs anyway.

    School is a place to gain education, if you want it. If you want to mess it up its your problem. Yes these kids need guidence but not discrimination!!!!

    We also DO NOT HAVE MONEY!!!!! we cant just keep cuting teachers to support these programs that invade personal rights and will probably NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM!!!!

  • C

    Cole SandersMar 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Neither of these are going to work. you can try both, waste money on both, but in the end the outcome will be the same. Parents are not going to let the teachers at brf hs invade our privacy. Another thing, yeah lets get rid of one of our great teachers HECK for drug tests that’s going to cause damage and cost the school more money which we cant even affford a decent lunch alreadr, if anything it’ll make the problem worse, and students will still find a way to get around it.

  • B

    Brandon SkeldingMar 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I think that reasonable suspicion is the best idea of the two because it should be cheaper. Also this is necessary just because of the comments i have heard such as “this is gonna ruin our sports”, people need to realize that if they want to do sports in college that they won’t get away with useing drugs, so why do them in high school. In my opinion its just plain stupid to be doing drugs as an athlete. This is a great idea.

  • L

    Lizzie CookMar 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I think the idea of having reasonable suspicion drug testing is an awesome idea. This is because if a student is showing signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they then test positively they can be punished in some way. I’m not trying to be the meanie by saying, “You’re bad and you should get in trouble!” However, we all know that drugs are dangerous to the user and others, so we would like to keep them away from students. It’s true that people make mistakes with drug use, so if there is some negative reinforcement, followed by treatment to help make the situation better, then there could be a positive outcome.

    I agree that random testing would be too much of an extra cost for our school.

    I’m concerned about they way our school and community are represented. Specifically, by our sports teams and oranizations and clubs. Because drug use is bad and ILLEGAL I would be embarrased to be represented by a player or member that is doing drugs. Black River Falls is a great place to live, so we should trying to be on our best behavior. We can still have fun and do what we enjoy, but let’s try to build a little character through this high school experience.

    I agree with Jim about starting at the root of the problem, by improving education on the issue. Not just “Don’t do drugs!” because we hear that way to often, and I don’t think that’s the deciding factor in our choices to do right or wrong. The life skills of problem solving and dealing with what life throws you is important for us young adults to take with us.

    On that note, we could also be nicer to each other. Everyone has issues, and I’m sure many people are willing to listen to others talk about what’s bothering them. Talking out problems, opposed to masking them with drugs of alcohol is better in the long run.

  • A

    Amber NaselloMar 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I think that random drug testing is not the best solution that our school can come up with, we are already having budget issues as is but adding the cost of drug testing to the matter only means money being taken from other places that could be used for education not on some person who desides to make some poor choices. I beleive there is no true resolution to this issue and it is a growing one but I do not belive this to be the answer.

  • H

    Hayley LaneMar 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I think that random testing will be the best for our school because of the great problem that has occurred regarding the drug trade. I do agree that anyone that says no to a random test is basically declaring their guilt…why wouldn’t you if you had nothing to hide??

  • J

    Jim KlosMar 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

    The drug testing policy would be a true step in eliminating drugs from the school setting, but it is only a step. Effective education on drug use, affects (physiological and psychological), and why they are taken is the key point to stopping a drug problem. If we as a society could figure out why people need drugs to cope with everyday situations then there would not be a drug problem. The true problem is how we deal with life’s ups and downs, and how to not depend on something else for aid or some release.
    It is like how society views the problem of abortion. Abortion is not the problem it is unwanted pregnancies that are the problem. Most of society will not look at unwanted pregnancies for they only see abortion. In turn once again that is why we have a drug problem. Society needs to look at the why first.
    Drug testing would hold the people accountable for what they do and then if they were required to seek counseling for it they might discover the why in the first place. It is only a step.

  • K

    kyle busseMar 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

    im sorry but if a person is asked to give a drug test and they reply “no” that dosnt wake them guilty unless whomever asked the student to perform the test was a police officer with a warrent.

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Drug Testing Discussed at Senate Level: Student Feedback Sought