Jackson County Schools Issue Drug Tests

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The Jackson County School District is the first in the Panhandle, and Wiregrass that will administer random drug tests to students.

The school board voted unanimously to issue the tests to any student involved in extracurricular activities.

All middle and high students in the Jackson County School District involved in extra curricular activities will receive random drug testing starting immediately.

This will affect about half of the student body.

Zina Bellamy is the mother of two pre-teens. Both play sports, but now, their names could be pulled to be in a drug test pool.

Bellamy says, "While they on the court, if they have anything in their system they don't realize the effects it have on our body cause I'm a living witness, I thank God for deliverance cause he delivered me from drugs and I know what it can do to your mental state"

And it seems other parents don't mind either. In Tuesday’s school board meeting, no parents or students showed any opposition, no parents or students even showed up. Which is no surprise to board chair Ed Kilpatrick or school superintendent Danny Sims.

"I think they take a lot of pride in the activities they participate in, I think they take a lot of price in the school" Kirkpatrick says " and they don't want to really see anyting happen that's giver their school a bad name"

Sims Agrees, "We have the same thing go on in the school that goes on in the community, but our intention is that's give our kids 1 more reason to say, 'no'
The drug test will go a little something like this, if a student is tested positive, they'll receive 15 days suspension from their extra curricular activity, and 6 days in a drug abuse program

A second positive result will get the student 30 days suspension from the sport and 12 days in a drug abuse program.

After a third time, they won't be involved in anything 'extra' the entire school year. D.J. Bellamy plays J.V. Basketball at a local high school "I think it’s a good thing so students who take drugs and other stuff can get off the team and not participate 'cause it’s not fair to everybody else"

Even athletes whose sport isn't in season, qualify to be tested. The policy is effective immediately, and implementation begins January 2006.

The students will be tested on steroids, meth, and other harmful drugs.
The school district is able to fund the test through a nearly $130,000 grant, that's provided every 2 years.