The Glynn County Board of Education has yet to decide whether to create a policy to conduct random drug tests on students involved in sports and clubs.
During a policy committee meeting Tuesday, Steve Waters, athletic director for Glynn County Schools, said it may not be possible to implement the policy, due to cost restraints.
“The main issue we have is the main issue we’ve discussed all along, which is expense,” Waters said. “The general fund … cannot pay for drug screening and cannot pay for counseling that we would offer after the screening.”
Jim Pulos, assistant superintendent for student achievement, said the school system may not be able to afford to put this policy on the books, but drug use in schools remains a pervasive problem.
“The purpose for it is still something that we’re all concerned about,” Pulos said. “Overridingly, the issue of drugs in our schools, across the country, is still something that we have to address. This was one initiative to try to at least look at that.”
Several school board members pushed back against the report that the school system could not fund the drug test costs.
“There’s an issue with drugs, and if this is not a solution … we need, I think, to do something,” said Millard Allen, a school board member. “We can’t ignore it.”
Andrew Lakin, the school board’s legal counsel, suggested bringing the issue up to state legislators.
“This is a statewide epidemic, and I think there’s a political solution,” he said.
Board chairman Mike Hulsey pointed out that other nearby school systems have found ways to fund and implement drug testing policies. He said Glynn County Schools should be able to find a way to do so as well, because he feels that drug use in schools affects more students than some might think.
The school board did not take any official action regarding the drug testing policy Tuesday. But nearly every board member voiced the opinion that action needs to be taken soon.
“Let’s not sweep it under the rug for six months and revisit it,” Allen said. “I think this is an immediate issue … we need to take some sort of proactive action.”