School to Begin Mandatory Drug Testing
By: Erica Byfield & Associated Press
GRAVES COUNTY, Ky. - Students in Graves County who want to participate in extracurricular activities have more to think about than just grades.
The Graves County school board unanimously passed a mandatory drug testing program last week that will go into effect this fall.
Under the plan, students who want to play sports, join a club such as the marching band or drive to school will have to pass a drug test first.
Many students and parents agree with this is a good program because they understand school leaders have their best interest in mind.
"I'll test with anybody that wants me to test with them. I'm proud to say I don't do drugs and I hope the rest of the school feels the same way," said Brannon Samford, a senior at Graves County High.
"I wish all kids would show negative but I have a feeling some of them maybe positive so maybe we could correct this at the beginning of the school year and at the end of the school year they won't want to," said Joey Green, a parent.
Jennifer Smith with the Graves County School District said she's not willing to let her community hide under a rock.
"We think we need to do everything in schools to make sure schools give kids every advantage to say no," Smith said.
That includes the threat of losing driving privileges or missing out on extracurricular activities.
"Student drug testing is just another step we can take to help our kids stay drug-free," she said.
Here's how it works, every student who fall into the poll gets tested within the first two weeks of school.
Smith said if the test comes back positive, students have two options.
"Offer the child the opportunity to go to a six week drug/alcohol awareness program or take a suspension from the activity for 6 weeks."
Plus, next time the cost of the text is on the student, about $20 and if they fail again, they enter the 12-week suspension phase.
One more time and they're out for an entire year.
"This is to help, this to punish positive tests will not be shared with anyone certainly not law enforcement,"
The program doesn't stop there, eight more time throughout the year students will be randomly selected for testing.
School leaders hope by getting the word out early, parents and students will know that this new drug testing program is coming and be prepared when students are called in for testing.