Drug testing is set to become a regular occurrence in Glynn County Schools for students who are involved in extracurricular activities. The school board voted Tuesday to create a drug-testing policy that will lead to the actual practice.
Board members said it is all part of a larger plan to attempt to address a reported increase in drug, alcohol and tobacco use on campuses.
On its face, this policy seems like a reasonable way to potentially deter some students from getting involved with something that could be dangerous. Drug, alcohol and tobacco use has been reportedly on the rise at our local schools, with some students even vaping in class in some instances, according to what administrators have told the board.
Participating in extra curricular activities, which include athletics, students must meet certain standards. They must keep their grades up to participate. They must adhere to a standard of conduct in class and they must follow the rules of the activity. Why not take steps to ensure they are also following the rules outside of class and off the playing field?
There will almost certainly be students who make the right decision when faced with the opportunity to try something if they know it may jeopardize their spot in a club or activity they enjoy.
But a parent opposed to the policy who spoke Tuesday brought up a good point the board should consider. She asked the board to be more proactive about drug use. There should be a drug prevention education program in place along with this policy. Education would not only inform all students eligible for testing about the process and the potential punishment, but also about the dangers of drug use, especially as it pertains to the activity in which they are participating.
Better yet, start young and teach younger students the dangers of drug use from an early age in the hope they never start in the first place.
If drugs are as big of a problem as the board says they are, it will take more than testing and random sweeps at schools to fix it.
The policy is a good start. It tells students that, like in the real world, if you want to play, you have to play by the rules.
We hope a prevention education program comes along with it.