Story by Savannah Levin
YORK, S.C. — Keystone Substance Abuse Center in York County has been tracking some concerning trends of teens using drugs and alcohol.
Center officials are now pushing school districts in the area to require drug testing for student athletes, with their latest sights on Rock Hill Schools.
Rock Hill has been considering it for some time — and is still in the preliminary research phase of the process.
“I think that eventually, it’ll change the norm of athletes and maybe even a school culture in general,” said Danielle Center, prevention specialist with Keystone.
Center says substance abuse among teens is on the rise and addressed the Rock Hill School Board last week about her concerns.
“We’re seeing people going to state of psychosis, were seeing higher addiction rates, we’re seeing problems with the brain,” she said.
Keystone has already helped implement the policy in surrounding districts like Clover.
“It’s just a good standard for the school,” Center added.
But random drug testing has met some resistance nationally. American Civil Liberties union says it violates students’ fourth amendment rights and could make the problem worse, steering kids to use more dangerous, less detectable drugs.
Still, the proposal has plenty of support from local parents.
“Even in life as they get older with jobs they’re going to have to go through that so this is a good lesson to start from an early age,” one parent told NBC Charlotte.
As of Wednesday, the Rock Hill School District was still trying to determine how many students they’d test and at what cost, according to district spokesperson Mychal Frost.
Frost says there is no definitive date on when the policy would take effect. Also under determination, is whether they’d test all their athletes as a requirement to participate in school sports, or randomly test a few throughout each season.
Right now Clover schools test all their student athletes at 20 dollars a test.
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