Lee County School Board discusses drug-testing students in extracurricular activities

By Katherine Kington - email | Twitter

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Some may see the move as controversial, but many parents say they hope the Lee County School Board does in fact, make drug testing the standard for extracurricular students. One Grandparent, Don McKinney says, "I think it's a good idea. I think it would keep them out of trouble. There's too much of the drugs going on.""

"The future benefits are very good because as they get older they'll understand that drugs is something they don't have to do. If they stay away from the drugs it will be very good for them." Says parent Veronica Willis.

Dr. Stephen Nowlin, the Superintendent for Lee County Schools, says the idea of drug testing students involved in after-school programs was not necessarily in response to a drug problem it's just preventative, "It's not really a problem but we know sometimes that kids can take performance enhancing drugs before they leave to go to school, they can take other kinds off drugs later in the afternoon."

The school board has researched other school systems in the country that drug-test students involved in extracurricular activities.

Dr. Nowlin says if the proposal eventually passes...they'll begin randomly drug testing students in grades 9-12 involved in sports, but who will pay for the tests?

"We're probably going to do it at a system level rather than require the school athletic programs to do it because of the cost." Says Nowlin

Lee County School Board members are aware that some parents may be concerned, but still believe the issue is worth fighting for. "Some people may feel it's infringement of their first amendment rights but we believe that parents are more interested in making sure their kids are not around kids who do drugs." Says Nowlin

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