PRINCETON — North Gibson school trustees approved the first reading of an update to the corporation’s search and seizure policy to potentially include “reasonable suspicion” drug testing.

Assistant Superintendent Eric Goggins said the corporation has been exploring the potential implementation of some level of student drug testing at the direction of the board. It has been discussed over the past year in a few forms, including the drug testing of students who participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, including driving to school.

The direction the corporation has moved toward is the inclusion of reasonable suspicion drug testing within its search and seizure policy which would apply to all North Gibson students in grades 6-12.

Administrators would be authorized by the school board to have any student, grades 6-12, submit to a chemical test of breath or urine if the administrator has “reasonable suspicion” the student is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other illegal substances.

This would include on school grounds, at school sponsored events or on the way to and from school by bus or other modes of transportation.

The addition to the policy would include administration guidelines outlining what instances “reasonable suspicion” can arise from. This includes student behavior in conjunction physical appearance; eye movements, dilation, constricted pupils; flushed face, slurred speech; and emotional factors like being argumentative.

Goggins said he wanted to make it clear this is not a random drug testing policy. He said this will be used when a student who is exhibiting being under the influence or intoxicated on school property or at a school function.

There will be a second reading on the possible addition at the June board meeting.

Other business

During its Monday meeting, the North Gibson School Board recognized three retirees.

The first was Penny Mason who served for 30 years as cafeteria manager, working at Baldwin Heights, Lowell South and Princeton Community Primary School North. Mason submitted remarks to the board, stating she enjoyed working with all the teachers, past and present. She said she looks forward to retirement, but hates to not be able to tell the kids goodbye in person.

The second retiree is Pam Sands, a cafeteria manager who served the district for 30 ½ years at Princeton Community Middle and High School.

The third was Amy Rainey who taught for 20 years and worked as a teaching assistant for six years. She worked at Lowell North and Princeton Community Primary School North and South..

Rainey said she was honored to work for the school corporation with such positive and professional people.

The board also approved one recognition and three new hires.

Resignation: Kelly McDonald, effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

New Hires: Jay Riley as SRO / Security director for district; Emily Cleaving as speech and language pathology assistant; Kirby White as Princeton Community Primary School kindergarten teacher.

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