Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Drug Testing Educators

The West Des Moines school district is believed to be the first in Iowa to adopt alcohol and illicit drug testing for all potential employees.The new policy was approved Monday and mimics private sector drug screening.

It is uncommon for public schools nationwide.

“We can say with a fair amount of confidence that this is the first such policy in Iowa,” said Lisa Bartusek, associate executive director for the Iowa Association of School Boards.

The school board unanimously approved the policy, which affects all potential employees and also current ones who are suspected of drug use. Employees who test positive for drug use or who arrive at work with a blood-alcohol concentration of .04 percent or more could be fired or forced to seek rehabilitation.

"It was surprising to me that other districts don’t do this,” said board member Susan Moritz, who helped craft the policy. “It came out of the idea that our bus drivers were already being tested, and if we felt that was important for our bus drivers, wasn’t it also important for the people who were in our buildings?”

The purpose is to “help new applicants understand that we simply don’t tolerate any kind of drug abuse on the job.”

Original Source: Des Moines Register

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