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CISD approves drug testing program

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Colmesneil ISDBy Mollie LaSalle
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COLMESNEIL – Colmesneil ISD held their regular meeting Monday evening and were given a report by CISD Security Officer Bubba Sheffield. Sheffield went over the audit report from January and had nothing but praise for CISD’s administration and staff.

“CISD has gone above and beyond in security campus wide, the strength is the staff, and around every corner there was a guardian”, Sheffield explained.

“Every interior door was locked during active shooter training”, he added.

The report was approved by the board with a few corrections, namely, there needs to be maps to notate every phone and gas cut-off in the building. Sheffield wants to see new fences and new doors district-wide, and also said that “it’ll never be secure enough at all times.”

Superintendent Scott Davis added, “what we do in lieu of that, we are always in a security posture.” Davis is also looking to increase the number of guardians for the 2023-24 school year. There are plans to build an eight-foot privacy fence around the elementary playground so you can’t see kids moving from building to building. “You can’t put a price on the safety of our kids”, added board member Kelly Eddins.

The next item on the agenda generated the most discussion. Board members voted to approve a student drug testing program, beginning with the 2023-24 school year.

“This is a big topic around campus, and the two main things we will test for are tobacco and vaping. The tests will be completely random,” Davis said.

Davis further explained “you get busted, you go to ISS, whether you partake of the substances at home or at school, it’s illegal, and we don’t care. If we see you with a snuff can in your pocket, you are in trouble. I want something to sting a little bit when they mess up.”

Board member Bo Bendy asked if the random drug tests applied to teachers and staff.

Davis explained that faculty and staff who do not drive buses are not subject to drug testing, as it is against contract law.

“This new program will give us the opportunity to test any time we want and refusing to test is seen as a positive screen. Reasonable suspicion is all that’s required. All extracurricular and drivers will be tested at the start of the year, then after that, testing will be random,” he said.

Resignations and hires announced

The board was advised of three resignations: Patrick Davis, Patricia Preston and Cody Day. There were three recommendations for new hires: Amy Shumake, Michael Lannon and Gina Barrett. All three were highly praised by high school principal Stephanie Smith and elementary principal Shelby Tillery.

Smith was pleased to report that the band won straight ones across the board at a recent meet at West Brook in sight reading competition.

She announced dates for end of year activities. May 1 is the Athletic Banquet, May 15 is the FFA banquet, May 16 is the senior scholarship and recognition, May 21 is Baccalaureate service at FBC, and May 26 is high school graduation, at 6 p.m. Enrollment for JH/HS is at 188 students,

In his report, superintendent Davis advised that “we have a plan for next year, we already know what were going to do, we don’t want parents and staff disappointed. We are working to grow our kids, our kids are getting a quality education. We are already in talks to invest our budget to take care of priorities for next year. Our top three areas of concern remain safety, security, and academics.” Board president Kris Lindsey asked about the plan for facility upgrades, specifically the AG building and the old gym. Davis replied, “our main goal is the AG facility, that gets the time and attention right now. As for the old gym, I don’t want it to sit there and fall apart, but there needs to be upgrades, namely the dressing rooms and bathrooms. I also don’t want to put money into the gym and have it just sit there.”

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