Horry County Schools is looking at drug testing your kids.
During Monday night’s school board meeting, general counsel Kenny Generette told the board that the district was looking into the possibility of randomly drug testing students in the Horry County School District. The tests could be given to students with on-campus driving privileges or those engaged in extra-curricular activities.
“The purpose of these programs have been to promote healthy lifestyles, to emphasize the importance of prevention, to deter the use of drugs among students and to implement early interventions as well,” Generette told the board.
Horry County wouldn’t be the first district in the state to implement such a program.
Lexington 1, Anderson 5, and Beaufort all have random drug testing programs, and Rock Hill is considering the idea, according to school district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier.
School board Chairman Joe DeFeo said the proposal came from the administration. Superintendent Rick Maxey said he didn’t have a comment because the district was just starting to gather information about how the program could work.
“There is obviously a drug addiction in the entire United States and I don’t think that Horry County Schools can sit here and pretend like there isn’t one,” DeFeo said. “If there’s one in the entire United States, then there’s a problem here. We can’t stick our head in the sand and just move along and say ‘Well, it doesn’t affect us.’ ”
The district doesn’t have an estimate on how much the program would cost, but DeFeo said the taxpayer-funded district as a whole would pay for the program, not just the individual parents. And failing a test wouldn’t necessarily mean suspension.
“It probably is a matter of yes, they probably cannot play sports at that given time,” he said. “Hopefully what we would do is provide counseling and help for the family to work through the situation.”
The drug testing program would target students in high school, said DeFeo, and possibly middle school as well.
Generette said the program could be ready to implement by the 2018-19 school year.