By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
In an attempt to provide a “real work place simulation,” students who participate in South Branch Career and Technical Center must agree to drug testing upon acceptance into the program and random testing during the school year. According to Hardy County Superintendent Barbara Whitecotton, the SBCTC is a pilot school for the Work Place Simulation by the West Virginia Office of Career Technical Education.
Whitecotton presented the Work Place Simulation Drug Free Policy to the Hardy County Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 19.
“The program is, the school is run like a business,” Whitecotton said. “This is a serious work force issue. Potential employees cannot pass a drug test.”
Several board members mentioned that career and technical students have access to dangerous equipment and voiced support of the policy. “I’d like to see something like this in Hardy County schools,” said Vice President Loy Kesner.
“Mineral County is testing students in all extracurricular activities, athletics and band,” said BOE member Nancy Hahn.
Kesner asked Whitecotton to bring a draft policy similar to the SBCTC policy, but for Hardy County Schools to the board for review.
According to the WVCTE policy, “Drugs are the leading cause of accidental deaths in our state, and we (WV) have the nation’s highest rate of drug deaths. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has made drug free work force a priority. There is a clear correlation between academic/professional success and drug abuse.”
Last year, Gov. Tomblin signed an executive order requiring participants in state-supported work force training to be drug free…