BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — The Beaufort County School District (BCSD) is bringing back its drug testing program. It’s been on hiatus since 2020 but now, it’s back in full swing.

“Prevention and awareness,” said Dr. Chad Cox, executive director of Secondary Education at the Beaufort County School District.

The district said that’s the goal of the program. If a student tests positive, BCSD won’t suspend them or tell the police — instead, they want to get them drug counseling.

“The point is not to punish kids in this scenario but to try to help kids and families get help that they need if they’re having a substance issue,” Cox said.

However, the more times a student tests positive, the more the school gets involved.

“As that would progress, the amount of interventions that a student receives, they continue to increase before students lose their right to participate in those things,” Cox said.

Not every student will be tested but if your kid drives to school, plays a sport or participates in an afterschool activity, they’re subject to testing.

Each month, the school puts a certain number of students in a pool and 15% of those students are tested.

This year, the Beaufort Memorial Hospital will handle drug testing. The hospital randomly picks from that list and then the students are pulled from class and asked to give their urine samples. Students and their parents and or guardians aren’t notified beforehand.

“We’ve seen an increase across the country of school districts to implementing this procedure,” Cox said.

The tests target:

  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Marijuana
  • Meth
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Methadone
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Propoxyphene

Also, this year fentanyl is being added to the list. BCSD said more and more schools are testing students and getting better results.

“Across the country, school districts that have implemented this process over time have seen a decline in drug usage amongst their students,” Cox said.