BCSC School Board Weighs In On Global Program, Drug Testing And Firearms

BMS Art Teacher Grace Kontour spoke about the Global Immersion Summer Program at Monday's school board meeting.
BMS Art Teacher Grace Kontour spoke about the Global Immersion Summer Program at Monday’s school board meeting.

Local students will have a chance this summer to learn about Chinese language and culture through a global immersion program.

Sixteen Chinese students will come to Batesville for a one week camp alongside Batesville students from Sunday, July 27 through Friday, August 1.

Each school day will consist of a language class where local students are instructed on introductory Chinese while the scholars from China will study English. The class will also feature field trips to downtown Batesville, Ivy Tech, Hillenbrand Inc., and Kings Island.

Batesville Middle School art teacher and program organizer Grace Kontour said the Chinese students will reside with host families.

“They want to get into the true American lifestyle like barbecue in the yard, watching a movie, the things we do everyday.”

There are currently seven Batesville students enrolled in the course and school officials hope to get more to sign up with the goal of reaching 30.

When Superintendent Jim Roberts was asked if Batesville students will one day travel to China, he responded, “That is certainly the goal.”

Random Drug Testing

School administrators are continuing to research the concept of random drug testing. The school corporation has considered placing a testing policy in place for students that participate in extra-curricular activities including driving to school.

In a student survey taken last week, 51 percent of Batesville in grades 9 through 11 said they would be in favor of the policy.

School board president Chris Lowery said the corporation is considering the measure and the long term impact.

Firearm possession on school property

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a law in March allowing adults to carry a concealed weapon locked in vehicles on school property. To meet state requirements, school board members are considering how to move forward with the legislative act at the local level.

The school board can prohibit an employee from bringing a firearm into a school building or onto school property outside of the local vehicle. School officials discussed the proper language and guidelines and if an employee could be issued the right to carry a firearm. Supt. Roberts proposed if Batesville Schools Director of Safety Ed Krause, a retired Indiana State Trooper, could be qualified to carry a gun on school grounds.

A decision was not made at Monday’s meeting.