To address the growing problem of drug abuse in Vermillion, a survey was conducted by school boards to gather the community’s opinion with regards to drug testing programs.
Local Schools Superintendent Phil Pempin said that parents have, so far, approved of the drug testing initiative for students.
The survey simply asks respondents if they are in favor of drug testing students in Vermillion. “It has shown, so far, that parents are in favor of drug testing all students. We’ve got a controversial issue and we need to explore it,” Pempin said. “We are not saying we are going to do it at this point, but we are discussing it.”
The proposal includes provisions for drug testing students who participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities as well as those who want to have their own parking rights in the campus. It is estimated that the program will cost anywhere around $4,000 to $28,000 and a decision will be made by the district school board this summer with regards to the said initiative.
Vermillion Police Chief Christopher Hartung has given his full support in drug testing local students in Vermillion. “I would tell parents to do it. You don’t know what your kids are doing. No one knows what your kids are doing but your kids. There’s no good drug, no good alcohol, no good buzz. It’s all bad. The only thing that comes from it is funerals, hospitals and STDs.”
Pempin hopes that drug testing kids will help control the situation and can make students think twice before engaging in drug activities. The thought that there is an existing drug testing program in their schools could deter kids from taking drugs to avoid the consequences if found positive for drug use. Pempin said: “They can say, ‘No I can’t do that. There’s a possibility I could be tested and I’m not going to take that chance.”