- - Monday, September 29, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Richmond County School System (RCSS) in Augusta, Ga., is guided by a mission statement and seven-belief statement, all of which are listed on its website. However, there is an eighth, unwritten belief statement that guides its hiring practice: The RCSS believes drug users have an equal opportunity for employment.

Job applicants to the county school system are not required to submit to drug tests as a condition of employment. Applicants are only required to submit to a federal criminal history check (fingerprinting) and a Georgia criminal history background check. Because of this egregious practice, students are being entrusted and exposed to employees who are potentially under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and a host of other mind-altering substances. The RCSS leadership has been derelict. Moreover, they have been hypocritical in their relationship with the student body.

Richmond County students are expected to adhere to a formal code of conduct that prohibits narcotics, drugs and controlled substances. Therefore, it is wrong for any faculty or staff member to be under the influence of such substances in the performance of duty.

Drug testing for all applicants must be a condition of employment. As the new Richmond County School superintendent, Angela Pringle must not follow the path of her negligent predecessors. She must not perpetuate the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil drug culture that exist in the RCSS. Drug use must not be tolerated in the Richmond County School System.

KEVIN PALMER

Martinez, Ga.


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