Trustees table drug testing proposal

2011-12-20T01:30:00Z Trustees table drug testing proposalBy Nick Gevock of The Montana Standard Montana Standard
December 20, 2011 1:30 am  • 

Butte school trustees were uncomfortable Monday changing district policy to allow art, chemistry or welding teachers to be subject to drug testing similar to that required of bus drivers. 

The board tabled a proposal that would have added any employee working in a hazardous environment to be subject to drug testing. Trustees heard a complaint from Mike Kujawa, a Butte High art teacher and president of the Butte Teachers' Union, that the rule would have segregated some teachers for extra scrutiny.

"If it's going to affect 10 teachers out of 300 teachers, we don't feel that's fair," Kujawa said during a board meeting.

The board in updating policies for Butte teachers and staff considered the change. Bus and commercial drivers are already subject to drug and alcohol testing under district rules.

Therese McClafferty, human resources director, said the district would like to have the ability to do post-accident drug testing for teachers and staff who work in a hazardous setting. That would include teachers working with chemicals, such as chemistry and art, as well as welding instructors.

But the proposal drew scrutiny from several board members. They agreed with Kujawa that it would divide the teachers into categories.

"Is there going to be a list identifying who falls under that?" trustee Scott Ferguson said. "How will somebody know?"

And Rayelynn Connole asked why the district wouldn't make the policy apply to all teachers.

"We're kind of grouping people in a way I don't think we want to," she said.

The board decided to send the proposal back to the policy committee for further consideration.

Reporter Nick Gevock may be reached at


Teachers won't administer

alcohol sensors

In another policy, the Butte school trustees on Monday dropped language giving teachers the responsibility to administer alcohol sensors to

students suspected of drinking at school or extra curricular activities.

The board had concerns last month that it would require teachers to confront drunken students and could jeopardize their safety.

Superintendent Linda Reksten said the district already uses such sensors but they're given by police and the language would keep it that way.

"This will address the concern that one of our employees will be administering the device," she said of the change.

Reporter Nick Gevock may be reached at nick.gevock@mtstandard.



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(9) Comments

  1. hardworking
    Report Abuse
    hardworking - December 21, 2011 12:50 am
    Pre-employment drug testing and random testing as well as testing after an accident is done in a wide verity of occupations today , I believe that the academic professionals should be subject to drug and alcohol testing with no exceptions.
    Anyone shaping the minds of our children should be in this category.
  2. formownopinion
    Report Abuse
    formownopinion - December 20, 2011 4:41 pm
    ay yi yi yi yi -- What an invasion of privacy. I think kids should be safe in their learnimg environment, but drug testing a segment of the educators? Even with testing, didn't a bus driver in Billings drive drunk with a school bus full of children? This is getting to be one whacked society we live in. Where is personal responsibility - where is common sense, anymore?
  3. butte59701_com
    Report Abuse
    butte59701_com - December 20, 2011 2:38 pm
    New World Order?

    " I agree with Jim that it should be everyone including the administrators.....Or none at all. "

    This sounds like the words from The Brave New World and 1984. If you have never Listened to the original Broadcasts go to Vintage Radio Repair
    Listen to Radio as it Should be.

  4. cuzIcan
    Report Abuse
    cuzIcan - December 20, 2011 1:01 pm
    Number one it is discrimination to only test a singular group. Lawsuit anyone. Number two, why dont we also test ALL the parents of the students and not just teachers and see how everyone reacts then. Jimnbubba and biggerschwarz. You two wanna be tested? Your all for it so step up to the plate. You wanna test, test EVERYBODY. Admin, teachers, students AND parents. See how that goes over.
  5. ShelleyW
    Report Abuse
    ShelleyW - December 20, 2011 11:47 am
    Another right wing attack on pulic school teachers. It is reminiscent of the loyalty oaths of the 1960s when teachers had to swear they were not communists. An inservice class in safety would be a lot cheaper and not personally invasive.
  6. Trane
    Report Abuse
    Trane - December 20, 2011 10:40 am
    Let work performance, not the contents of ones' urine, determine work evaluation. Random drug test are just an invasion of privacy and putting people in the guilty until proven innocent category. The most common misconception about drug urine testing is that it detects drug-impaired workers, whereas it actually detects evidence of past drug use that need have no relation to on-the-job performance. At the same time, most drug tests totally disregard alcohol, the nation's leading drug of abuse.
  7. btm_down
    Report Abuse
    btm_down - December 20, 2011 9:58 am
    Not only should post-accident testing be mandatory for ALL district employees involved, but they should be included in a random testing pool as well.
    It is completely disingenuous to constantly be treating students as criminals and subjecting them to on-demand searches and testing without adhering administration to the same caveats.
  8. biggerschwarz
    Report Abuse
    biggerschwarz - December 20, 2011 9:29 am
    I agree with Jim that it should be everyone including the administrators.....Or none at all.

    I personally favor no testing.....unless there is an accident, but then alcohol is just a likely candidate as drugs for causing issues.
  9. jimnbubba
    Report Abuse
    jimnbubba - December 20, 2011 5:35 am
    Everyone in the school enviroment, Ads included should be drug tested. They are influencing the children in every way and should be above reproch, they should'nt have a problem with it if their clean

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