MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Just days into the school year, the Berkeley County School District is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on the company that will perform random drug testing for district employees.
The district is hoping to approve a contract for more than $100,000, an amount the district expects to cover approximately 450 screenings each year.
At the last school board meeting, some members were concerned about having mandatory screenings and the negative impact it could have when it comes to retaining teachers. But others said this was the best choice to protect students from what they called a rampant drug problem in the school district.
A policy, which stipulates employees in “safety-sensitive positions" could face termination if they don’t submit to these screenings, was passed in Aug. 2018. Those “safety-sensitive positions” include teachers, principals, and school bus drivers.
In two separate incidents, two school district employees were arrested after being accused of being drunk at a school. One was a teacher and the district later confirmed that she no longer works at the school district. The other works as a child nutrition operator at Cane Bay Middle School and was accused of being drunk at a back-to-school event at a Berkeley County elementary school.
The contract goes into effect Wednesday, but district officials haven’t decided when the random drug and alcohol screenings will begin.