Taylor Lavender, a Rock Hill High School senior soccer player, thinks randomly screening student-athletes for drug use is a good idea - but she worries it might alienate students who would benefit from extracurricular activities the most.
"Doing a sport is very beneficial," she said. Random drug tests might discourage people who aren't involved from trying out.
As Rock Hill school district officials consider whether to randomly test student-athletes for drugs, teens taking part in extracurricular activities and their families have mixed opinions.
Some are all for it, while others think random testing in public schools violates privacy rights.
It's not clear when or if the district will begin testing students.
After school district administrators pitched the idea at a meeting Monday, the school board directed them to form a committee of residents and school representatives to look into it.
Details are sketchy.
It's not clear how much the program would cost, which drugs would be screened for or whether middle schools would be included.
Although Monday's presentation focused on athletes, it's possible that all students in extracurricular activities would be randomly tested.
Those are questions the committee will consider, Superintendent Lynn Moody said.
"It's a great idea," said Salena Erby, whose son plays football at Rock Hill High. "We need to know. You might think your kids are not doing drugs, but they can fool you at that age.
"I love the fact that they're focusing on athletes, because you can so easily get hurt."
Afton Walker's son wrestles and plays football at Rock Hill High.
"It's a good idea," Walker said. "I see what these athletes go through. Six minutes on the mat in a wrestling match is very demanding on a young athlete.
"Something as simple as an energy drink has been enough to stop a student's heart."
In interviews, several students agreed.
"Who wants somebody on the team that does drugs?" said junior Nayna Gregory, who runs track at Rock Hill High.
"It can affect somebody mentally, physically and emotionally," her teammate Jama'l Blake said.
"I think they should test," said Rock Hill High senior and track athlete Danny Livingstone. "If you want to be a good athlete, I think you would probably be smart and not do drugs.
"I don't do drugs. I'm trying to go somewhere."
Others see it differently.
Emma Hampton, a senior on South Pointe High's student newspaper, wouldn't mind being tested because she would pass, but "for other students, I think it's a violation of privacy."
Andrew Vereb, whose daughter plays volleyball at Rock Hill High, said the approach is unfair.
"I'm all for checking the kids for drugs," he said. "But why just athletes? It needs to be all-inclusive. You either do it to everyone, or you do it to no one.
"There's a lot of issues with students nationwide, and they're not athletes. For example if there's someone out there who's high on drugs and brings a gun to school."
While laws don't allow districts to randomly screen all students, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that safety concerns for high schoolers in extracurricular activities outweigh any minimal loss of privacy.
"I can see where there would be concern for personal rights," said Taylor's mom, Cathy Lavender. But "we should be holding our athletes to higher standards. They're supposed to be role models.
"They're supposed to be representing their school and their city."