drug testing
Could this become a familiar sight in US schools? Source: Shutterstock.com

It turns out drug testing doesn’t just happen following months of training as a professional athlete, or a misguided trip to the police station. It is happening in United States schools. Three school districts in South Carolina are drug testing their pupils.

And plans to implement the program are underway in more South Carolina districts. Horry County has proposed its schools begin “randomly” drug testing pupils at school.

On Monday, General Counsel Kenny Generette announced the plans at a school board meeting.

“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 said at the board meeting.

The drug tests in Horry County are proposed to be carried out on students who partake in extra-curricular activities, or those with on-campus driving privileges. They will specifically target high-schoolers but could also stretch to cover middle-schoolers as well.

Districts Anderson 5, Beaufort and Lexington 1 already run random drug-testing programs. Lisa Bourcier, school district spokesperson, told Myrtle Beach Online Rock Hill district is mulling over the idea too.


Horry County is in the very early stages of etching out the program. Few details are released as of yet, including the rather crucial factor of cost.

School board chairman Joe DeFeo told Myrtle Beach Online the district’s taxes will cover the cost of the program. He added failing a test wouldn’t necessarily mean suspension for the student.

“It probably is a matter of yes, they probably cannot play sports at that given time,” said DeFeo. “Hopefully what we would do is provide counseling and help for the family to work through the situation.”

DeFeo has claimed the original proposal came from the administration.

“There is obviously a drug addiction [problem] in the entire United States,” DeFeo said. “And I don’t think that Horry County Schools can sit here and pretend like there isn’t one.

“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’.”

If all goes to plan, the program could be in place in Horry County in time for the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year.

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