Broken Bow School Board Approves Extracurricular Drug Testing Policy

Broken Bow School Board Approves Extracurricular Drug Testing Policy
Broken Bow School Board met on Monday, July 18 to discuss drug testing program and budget.

BROKEN BOW—After months of discussion and some could say years in the making, the Broken Bow School Board voted on its new extracurricular drug testing program during the regular meeting on Monday, July 18, 2022.

The vote comes after countless lengthy discussions regarding substance abuse issues present in the school and the purpose of random drug testing amid students who participate in extracurricular activities.

“The board of education is responsible for maintaining discipline, health, and safety. The board recognizes that student substance abuse presents a continuing challenge and a danger to the student population as a whole,” the policy states.

“The school district seeks to provide safe, substance-free schools,” the policy continues. “The school district believes that the drug, alcohol, and tobaccos/nicotine problem among the student body will be addressed by making sure that the large number of students participating in extracurricular activities do not use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco/nicotine and have an ongoing reason to say, “No,” when presented with a chance to use.”

The board has discussed in detail the pros and cons of aspects of the policy including the choices students are faced with and the consequences that follow, the difference between drugs/alcohol/tobacco/nicotine usage, the drug testing procedures, and the philosophy of the role of educators and administrators and their duties to the community they serve.

The board also discussed the budget and general fund review plan for the next fiscal year. Treasurer J.B. Atkins said the board will be looking at potential increases to the ‘tax ask’ for running the school and for depreciation accounts, in part due to inflation.

Atkins said if an increase in the budget is approved during the September 12 meeting, it would be the first tax increase asked for by the school board in about six years. No decisions were made.

Multiple policies were updated and reviewed for the year such as library media, special education evaluation, Title IX, bidding for construction projects, school meal program, testing and assessments, transporting students in employee vehicles, among others.

Handbooks and fees were also reviewed on Monday night.

The board approved the hiring of Martha Bergquist for middle school English. Superintendent Darren Tobey said an offer has been extended for the position of the life skills teacher and the district is still looking to hire a new elementary counselor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.

Upcoming Important Dates:
Monday, August 1 at 12 p.m. Work Session
Monday, August 15 at 7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting
Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. Budget Public Hearing followed by Work Session
Monday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. Regular Meeting to vote on tax asking and budget

The budget needs to be finalized and submitted to the state by Tuesday, September 20.