Columbia to reinstate random athlete drug testing


School News Monroe CountyAt last week’s meeting, the Columbia school board voted to reinstate the student random drug and alcohol-testing program.

The randomized testing will take place for students involved in IHSA sanctioned sports and activities and will take place throughout the year with no specific schedule. Up to 15 students will be tested during each visit.

Assistant superintendent Beth Horner, who has been working on reinstating the testing, said it is her goal to be as transparent as possible with the whole process.

Students and parents will be provided with a list of frequently asked questions to go with the consent form they receive at registration and will also be able to access the full policy if they wish.

In the FAQs, the board cites the reason for bringing back the drug and alcohol testing as an effort to deter the use of banned substances.

It states that it is the district’s intent to provide students with “yet another reason to say no to drugs and alcohol.”

The consent form must be returned to the CHS office within five days after registration.

The board members recommend that if a student is even considering participating in an IHSA activity, they should fill out and return the form. If they decide not to participate, they will be removed from the pool of names.

In her superintendent’s report, Gina Segobiano said the district received a donation of 19 computers and 11 iPads from Archer Daniels Midland.

“We have a great relationship with them and some employees that are very devoted to our school district,” Segobiano said.

She also said the Oerter Foundation just sent their last pledge of $25,000 to complete its $100,000 pledge commitment.

“We are just so grateful to them,” she said.

The board also approved bids for milk, bread and fuel for the upcoming school year.

They approved a 200-hour contract with Rejis for technology support, the safety hazard/school safety busing area for the upcoming school year and the state-required special education workload plan.

The special education workload plan will change next year with Columbia’s withdrawal from the Perandoe Special Education District.

Columbia’s withdrawal is progressing, and a few board members went to Red Bud to go over the Columbia petition.

“Everything went pretty smoothly and there were good questions,” Segobiano said. “My next Perandoe management council meeting is in early August. It’s a timeline process that we just have to follow.”

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