Students raise question: should faculty be tested, too?

Consider this:  would your opinion on reasonable suspicion drug testing change if your teachers were subjected to drug testing as well?

“I think students will be more open to drug testing as a whole if they think it’s fair. Students are still in the mindset that everything has to be fair,” said Student Senate President Bronson Stein. “If they feel know that the teachers are being tested, too, I think that will really show a real push in our fight against drugs.”

Before it was suggested by board member Ken Artis at the March 15 school board meeting, the Student Senate hadn’t even considered it.

“The reason for drug testing isn’t to find people who are doing drugs in general. The reason for drug testing is to make sure that drugs don’t enter our school,” said Stein. “So, we were pointing it directly at students because that’s where the majority of the drug abuse is. I guess we don’t really believe that teachers were a problem. But if it’s a concern of some people, I think it needs to be addressed.”

To some, a “teacher testing” policy would add a level of fairness.

To Social Studies teacher Jason Janke, it adds a level of comedy. “Personally, I don’t think there is any need for that [teachers getting drug tested],” said Janke after some laughter. “I think that if there is reasonable suspicion of a teacher being under the influence, my guess would be that Mr. Chambers would probably have an easier time of getting that individual tested because they’re under contract.”

Drug testing teachers would increase the price tag on the reasonable suspicion policy; as of now the Student Senate is not aware of the program’s exact cost.

“We’re estimating that this should be 300 dollars a year for the swab, so with teacher testing it would be a lot more,” said Stein. “[Teacher testing would cost more] because with the swab it’s only if there is a problem, but with teachers it would be mandatory for the entire faculty.”

According to some, testing teachers would detract from the Student Senate’s goals.

“I think [testing teachers for drugs] completely misses the point the Student Senate is trying to make, and I think it speaks to the incredibly high level of skepticism that teachers face in this community,” said Janke.

With students, the consequences of being found under the influence at school are not as clear cut as they are with teachers.

“I don’t have a real solid idea [of what would happen to teachers if they tested positive]… but I guess what I think would be an acceptable consequence would be termination. If you’re doing something illegal when you’re supposed to be teaching not only a certain subject but also morals, that is wrong,” said Stein.