A CCSD program helps to educate students about the effects of drugs


The Charleston County School District is set to launch a new program called ADAPT (Alcohol and other Drug Alternative Program for Teens) to help teach students about the effects of drugs and how students might be liable for distributing them on campus, according to school officials.

Numbers from the district shows drug-related incidents at schools that led to disciplinary action were up slightly at some schools in the district, while down at others.

For example, the number of incidents that led to disciplinary action at Burke High School during the 2016-1017 school year was 12. That number was up from four the previous year and the three the year before that.

Wando High School saw 35 incidents last year, up five from the 2015-2016 school year.

“Marijuana is going on, and we work closely with Wando and we have our drug dogs there to get the word out to not use the drugs,” said Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Richie.

Stall High School had 30 drug-related incidents that led to disciplinary action during the 2016-2017 school year, 32 incidents during the 2015-2016 school year, and 20 during the 2014-2015 school year.

West Ashley High School saw 16 incidents during last school year, 26 incidents during the 2015-2016 school year, and 17 during the 2014-2015 school year.

Still, school officials said one incident is one too many.

“The district is concerned if we have one incident,” said Kala Goodwine, the director of Alternative Programs and Services for CCSD. “We're concerned and we feel like we're taking steps towards addressing the concerns that we have.”

Goodwine said they have the most issues with alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs.

“Some students just don’t know what to do,” she said. “They need the tools to say no to drugs. That might sound cliché but they need the tools to just say no. They need to know the impact. Part of what I do is sit in hearings and we ask if they realize if the interaction of this drug with your prescribed drug could be detrimental, or death, and often times they don’t realize the impact that drugs can have on them.”

Parents agree that drugs in schools are a major problems.

“I worry about it all the time” said Elle Kleckly, who lives in Mount Pleasant. “I have a four-year and an almost three-year-old, and I’m concerned about it all the time.”

“I just get mad talking about it,” said Juanita Small, from Georgetown. “If someone says drugs, I get mad. I tell them my grandchildren if you see anything, don’t touch it. I tell them if you they give you something, no thank you, just keep on running. Don’t hold no conversation with them.”

“Schools should be a place of learning,” said Chris Eyler. “If I was a parent, which I’m not, I’d be concerned about my kids going to any school and not just a particular school.”

They all said the solution starts at home.

“I think it's just going to start with our education at home and making them the choices that they know that they've been taught,” said Kleckley. “That's what we're doing now.”

Police have a wakeup call for parents too.

“Don’t ever think it can't be my child,” said Chief Richie.

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