Drug testing approved for CCHS

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Students involved in extra-curricular activities at Chilton County High School will be subject to random drug testing this fall.

The Chilton County Board of Education approved the new tests during its monthly meeting Tuesday.

Chilton High Principal Greg DeJarnett asked the board to implement the policy back in June, saying he would like to see countywide testing.

The board didn’t go that far Tuesday, only approving the policy for Chilton County High School.

The board considered countywide testing and doing a pilot program at Chilton, but ultimately decided to handle any policy changes school-by-school.

“I don’t have a problem if other schools want to adopt it,” said Superintendent Keith Moore. “They need to bring us a proposal, and we’ll take a look at it.”

Moore said he wouldn’t want to start a new countywide policy without some serious thought. He also said a pilot program at CHHS might prevent schools from starting their own policies this school year.

“I don’t want them to have to wait a year,” said Moore, who said several principals have said they would like to start testing at their schools.

Verbena athletic director Mike Harris said he would have liked to have seen countywide policy implemented but is concerned about funding such a program.

“We don’t have the money for it; that’s the whole thing,” Harris said.

The policy is modeled after one used at Spain Park High School in Hoover, CCHS athletic director Brian Carter’s previous place of employment.

The program includes penalties, mainly different kinds of suspension, for students who test positive for drugs.

Depending on the drug used, students may also be required to pass additional drug tests and undergo counseling before they can participate in extracurricular activities again.