County eyes drug tests
Morgan County is joining other area school systems in forming a committee to determine a drug testing policy for students involved in extra-curricular activities.
Superintendent Don Murphy said drug testing would cost an estimated $35,000 to $50,000 per year.
"A lot of schools are going to this," Murphy said. "In Limestone County, the first year of drug testing showed a 5 percent positive result and five years later tests showed a 1 percent positive result. If we test 1,000 kids and 5 percent or 50 kids test positive and a year later 1 percent test positive, we've accomplished getting 40 kids off of drugs."
Murphy will conduct a search for those interested in serving on the committee.
The committee will decide such issues as: what grades will be tested-9-12 or 7-12; which extra-curricular activities will require drug testing-athletics, band, cheerleading and other traveling groups; and how often drug tests will be given-such an initial mandatory test for students who wish to become involved in extra-curricular activities and then a random computer-selected test for two students at each school for every month thereafter.
Another consideration of the committee would be consequences for positive drug testing results.
"We would like to start working on the committee now, but before any policy is put in place, we would have to wait for the Supreme Court's ruling on random drug testing," Murphy said. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing a case involving the testing of students in extra-curricular activities. Board members Gary Cobb and Billy Rhodes agreed to serve on the drug policy committee.