- Category: Letters to the Editor
The Middletown School District has had a drug testing policy since 2006, which requires all high school students participating in extracurricular activities and/or with a parking space at school to face mandatory drug tests.
Even though this policy may have been enacted with good intentions, there are a number of serious flaws in it that must be addressed.
1) Students who are subject to random drug testing may opt to use dangerous hard drugs such as heroin (which is highly addictive and currently the most popular illegal drug in New Jersey) instead of the soft drug cannabis, which is non-addictive and has never resulted in a single death. The reason for this would be the fact that while cannabis can show up in a urine test for 30 days or more, heroin as well as other opiates such as OxyContin usually become undetectable within a few days.
2) Drug addiction is a medical issue and therefore it is inappropriate to use school disciplinary procedures against students found to be suffering from a medical condition. While the handbook states that they do not impose disciplinary measures against students who fail to pass such tests it later reads, "students will be removed from co-curricular activities, sports, and parking privileges as set forth in Board Policy." Additionally, because drug addiction is a medical problem, the results of any such test are a personal medical record that need to be kept private in compliance with HIPPA and limited to licensed medical professionals consented to by the student and their parent(s)/guardian(s).
3) Research shows that students who are involved with sports and other extracurricular activities are less likely to use drugs and are more likely to disapprove of drug usage. Therefore, it seems counterproductive to remove students experimenting with drugs from a peer group that would discourage them from using drugs.
While there are clear questions over the scope of government intrusion and parental rights when your local public school is running what amount to mandatory medical tests on students, it would be highly irresponsible for the Middletown Board of Education to fail to at minimum correct the flaws noted above prior to the start of the 2011-2012 school year.
Red Bank, NJ
- Category: News
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - A fast response from the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department brought a fire today quickly under control at 73 First Avenue. Witnesses saw flames and thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the building around 12:47 p.m. Police responding to the scene located the fire on the second floor roof of Little Italy Restaurant on the Railroad Avenue side of the building. Officers evacuated occupants of the building and surrounding buildings.
Atlantic Highalnds Fire Department ladder on First Avenue extended to the roof of Little Italy Pizzeria.
The Atlantic Highlands First Aid Squad responded, treating three building occupants for minor smoke inhalation at the scene. They refused to be transported to the hospital.
Atlantic Highlands Fire Marshall Martin Hawley said the fire was accidental in nature. The fire originated on the roof of the building. He said, "careless smoking cannot be ruled out."
- Category: News
Transmission Main to Increase Reliability
VOORHEES, NJ – New Jersey American Water has recently begun a new phase of construction of a nine-mile water transmission main in Middletown Twp. The 36-inch main, in this phase, will run along Middletown-Lincroft Rd from W. Front St. to Bamm Hollow Rd., will help manage water demand and pressures in the Monmouth County. When completed, the project will reduce pressure by as much as 40 pounds per square inch (PSI) thereby reducing the likelihood of mains breaks and service disruptions.
“Over the last two years, we have constructed 6 miles of the planned nine-mile transmission main improvement” said Suzanne Chiavari, vice president of engineering for New Jersey American Water. “This phase will include 3500 feet of which about 8500 feet have been completed since June. The transmission main will improve service, enhance fire protection, and reduce pipe pressure.”
During this phase, crews will be working daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will have impact on traffic and limited water service interruptions for customers’ homes and businesses.
- Category: News
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Soccer Club U17 Girls Soccer Team was recognized by the Middletown Township Committee at the July meeting for winning the NJ Youth Soccer U17G State Cup. The team also won the prestigious JAGS Invitational, and were semi-finalists in the equally prestigious Needham College Showcase in Boston, Mass.
The team has been together since 2003. They’ve competed in tournaments and leagues throughout the years in New Jersey New York, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. The team has been ranked in the NJ top 20 for 3 consecutive years – 2009, 2010, and 2011. They also won the NJ State Cup Semi-finalist in 2010. Go Team!
- Category: Arts & Culture
FREEHOLD, NJ – The Red Horse Art Gallery, a gallery which features the artwork of artists with disabilities, located in the Freehold Raceway Mall, will hold a “Meet the Artists” reception on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 to recognize and celebrate the artistic talents of artist Christopher Miller, student artists from the Work Opportunity Center and artists from the South Brunswick Senior Center. This reception will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on August 4th. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will run from August 1st through September 23rd.
The Red Horse Gallery is a program of The Arc of Monmouth, in collaboration with VSA New Jersey. It offers exhibits and open house gatherings for artists with disabilities and believes that “creativity has no limitations”. Art classes are offered to individuals with disabilities through grants from the Monmouth County Arts Council and other funding sources. VSA New Jersey is a part of the international VSA arts network, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
The Arc of Monmouth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, serving more than 1,400 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with education, vocational training, residential services, health care, supported employment, recreation, individual and family supports and advocacy.
To learn more about The Arc of Monmouth please call 732-493-1919 or visit www.arcofmonmouth.org.
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