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Parent questions legality of drug testing policy

Published October 21. 2010 05:00PM

The Panther Valley School District's student drug testing policy continues to come under question by parents in the district. Recently, Morgan Thomas, a parent of six, including two PV graduates and four current students, questioned the legality of the policy and indicated that he will not be "bullied" into signing the consent forms for his children to be tested, even if this means that they will not be allowed to participate in school activities, including the prom.

"We live in a society where you're innocent until proven guilty," he said. "This policy turns that around." Thomas called on the district to educate children as to the dangers of drug use. "If you show them here's the pros, here's the cons, they'll make the right decision," he said.

Board directors and Superintendent Rosemary Porembo stood by their decision to enact the policy. Porembo sited safety concerns and later pointed out that the safety of students is one of the fundamentals of the policy. "We're here to protect the safety and health of everyone," said Director Koreen Nalesnik. Director Dave Hiles compared it to mandatory testing truck drivers need to take annually in order to keep their licenses. Policy committee chair Anthony DeMarco said that the policy had been worked on for six or seven months and would stand as approved.

In other matters, the board accepted the resignation of Julie Gower as 6th grad team leader at the middle school, and appointed Shannon McBride to fill the position until the end of the school year. Deborah Schaller was hired as a one-on-one instructional aide for a CCTI student, effective immediately. Marry Dillon was transferred from CCTI instructional aide to Grade 6/Life Skills instructional aide, effective immediately. Mary Hoffman was appointed as the classrooms for the future instructional technology coach, effective immediately. Vickie Maynes and Stephen Harrison were approved as a permanent part-time custodians, effective immediately.

Kathie Crampsie and Pat Vito were approved as advisors for Harmony Scholars for 2010. Jennifer Mikovich was approved as a volleyball scorebook keeper for the 2010-2011 season.

The board approved the fourth payment to Schneider Electric in the amount of $330,639.57 for the summer 2010 project.

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