The Rowan County School District is one of almost 50 school districts across the nation to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug Free School Program to fund random student drug testing at the middle school and high school levels.
School districts in 20 states will be sharing in nearly $5.8 million in grants designed to assist schools in discouraging and preventing further substance use and abuse. Rowan County Middle School and Rowan County Senior High School will be joining with more than 4,000 schools nationwide that have implemented a random student drug testing program to promote a healthy learning environment.
The grant, totaling $96,753, will cover 100 percent of the total costs of the program, including hiring a certified medical laboratory to conduct the random drug tests. Sixth through twelfth grade students who actively participate in competitive extra-curricular activities or who voluntarily enroll in the program will be randomly selected for drug testing. Representatives with the laboratory will work closely with the Rowan County Schools Drug Testing Coordinator. No test results will be shared with school personnel.
The Student Drug Testing Policy, which was put in place by the Rowan County school board, is intended to encourage students to refrain from substance use and abuse. Should a student test positive, a referral will be made for counseling and an early intervention program. For any subsequent positive test results, varying lengths of suspension from extracurricular activities will occur.
“With this student drug testing policy and grant, we are working to ensure that all our students are in a healthy drug-free academic and athletic environment,” said Tom Daugherty, Assistant Superintendent for Rowan County Schools. “The peer pressure that middle school and high school students across the state and the nation experience is tremendous. With this policy, we are giving our students a tool to resist peer pressure to use drugs.”
The first of three public forums has been scheduled for Thursday, July 17 at the Rowan County Senior High School Performing Arts Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. These forums will allow parents, students, and administrators to discuss the Student Drug Testing Policy, the testing procedures, and the grant.