Athletic Director Considers Random Drug Tests For Prep Athletes

February 8, 2012 / Athletic Administration
Picayune Item, David A. Farrell


CARRIERE — Pearl River Central athletic director Andy Kivlan told the school board at its Monday night meeting that he will most likely recommend that students participating in extracurricular activities, including band and ROTC, be subject to random drug screening.

The screening would include, however, mainly students who participate in athletics.

He also said he would recommend that a full-time trainer be appointed. He said a review of the athletic programs sponsored by the Pearl River County School District indicated to him a trainer is needed for all sports activities.

Kivlan said he believes there is no drug problem among students right now, but added he thinks a drug screening program would act as a deterrent.

After the school board meeting broke up, he told the Item he is not ready right now to recommend immediate adoption of the drug screening and would need a little more time to study the situation further.

He said he is familiar with how drug screening programs work.

Monday night’s meeting was at least the second time during the past two years that drug testing for athletes has been mentioned here.

Last year the school board briefly discussed the possibility of implementing a program but took no action on it.

Kivlan spoke to the school board  at the invitation of Supt. Alan Lumpkin, during a session set aside for department heads to address the board.

On another matter, the school board voted to make a major overhaul of the school’s vocational-technical education system, following a recommendation and a slide presentation by vocational director Kelli Beech explaining the program’s revamping.

She said the changes, which will upgrade the system with more modern career paths, were mandated by the state.

Agricultural science will be redirected into horticulture, business and computer technology into information technology, and design technology for fashion and interiors into early childhood education.

She said conversion to the new program of information technology will cost $30,000,  but overall the revamping will be at minimal costs.

She said the new curriculum will allow students to dovetail their vocational-technical studies into a path toward attending Pearl River Community College, or any other college, to further their education in a chosen field.

She said the new career paths will offer students hands-on experience. For instance, the horticultural program will have students grow plants from seed to be used in plantings by the City of Picayune.

The board took an hour and a half to go through a 34-item agenda before going into an executive session to discuss personnel.

Board member Jeff Jones chaired the meeting as president, taking charge of his first session after being elevated to that post last month when former board president and member Twila Crabtree decided not to seek re-election to the post. She was absent from Monday night’s meeting.

The board also chose board member Jeremy Weir as its vice president and board member Rodney Dyess as board secretary. Board member Michelle Boyd made the motion that Weir and Dyess be named to those posts.

Following the executive session, the board adjourned to Monday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.

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