When state budget changes forced cuts to local education programs in Alabama, one of the first policies to go was random drug testing of students. But now Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon wants to bring back the policy, which would cost the city an estimated $75,000 to $80,000 a year per school.
In a town meeting covered by the Mobile Press Register, Kennon used combative rhetoric to frame the issue. “This is not hyperbole or over-dramatization,” he said. “Times are scary. Our kids are under attack like they have never been before and in ways some of us old folks could never have imagined.”
If the policy Kennon favors is implemented, students in Orange Beach public schools would be suspended for one positive drug test and expelled for two. Under current law, schools may test only students who drive to school or participate in extracurricular activities.