Monday’s St. Clair County Board of Education meeting was held in front of a packed room. The night included discussion of bringing a soccer team to Springville High School, randomized drug testing in St. Clair County high schools and recognition of achievements within the school system.

Two mothers addressed the board Monday night about getting a soccer team for Springville High School. One of these mothers, Karen Peach, said that this is something that her and others in the Springville community had been working toward for five years. She brought to the board a list of forty names of children who wanted to play. Peach said that she had spoken with Dr. Harris, principal at Springville High school. She said that he wants a coach that teaches at the school and was not open to a community sponsor coaching.

Peach said that she feared that all the Springville High teachers have too much on their plates and soccer coaching, for them, might no be a possibility. She also included that the parents had found an outside volunteer that had previous clearance with the board. “I just feel like we’re at a stand still,” said Peach. Another concern addressed was students who desire to play soccer in college. Superintendent Jenny Seals said that she had spoken with Dr. Harris and asked the concerned mothers to meet with her after the meeting.

Another discussion held at the meeting concerned a new board-approved randomized drug-testing program. Personnel coordinator for the board, Melinda Splawn, gave an overview of the new program.

 She started by saying that there was a difference between the student drug testing policy and the use of drugs within the student codes. She included that if it is determined that a student has illegal drugs at school the board would go through the code process.  She said that this type of violation would likely be a class four or five offense and the board would deal with it that way.

The drug testing policy, on the other hand, deals only with students that are involved in competitive extracurricular school activities and those who drive to school. Splawn said that those students’ names would be placed in a file and randomly selected by the EDPM, which is the drug company administering the tests.

Splawn said that if a student were found to have drugs in his or her system, EDPM would first contact the child’s parents. If parents can provide a prescription, the board would never be contacted. If not, the board is notified and the student is disciplined only for the area he or she was being tested in.

Splawn said a first offense would result in some time away from the activity or driving. She said the second offense would be a little more serious, and the third offense would mean the child could no longer compete or would lose driving privileges. Splawn also included that if the test is dirty the student may be tested multiple times, but upfront the chances of being tested are even. “This is not any kind of discipline or punishment that will hurt them academically,” said Splawn. It is about helping them if they have issues.”

Other items at Monday’s meeting include:

-       Senator Phil Williams was in attendance to provide Ashville Band $1,000 for new uniforms and $800 for Steele Junior High to purchase textbooks.

-       All board members were recognized for their advancement in levels at the School Board Academy.

 

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