School, KPD revive anti-drug efforts

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Kilgore Police Department has announced their support for a new anti-drug program being launched by KISD.

In a Facebook post Monday, KPD compared the new program to a popular one implemented at KISD in the past.

The post read, in part: “Some of you may remember the KYSSED (Kilgore Youth Standing Superior Eliminating Drugs) program. This was a cutting-edge drug prevention program that was peer-led at KISD. This program partnered with local businesses to offer discounts to students who pledged to stay drug-free. We are working with Kilgore ISD to bring back a new and improved version! We need local businesses to stand up and offer discounts to students as an incentive for this worthy cause. KPD is going to use seized funds to support this program.”

The program will be called KBAD (Kilgore Bulldogs Against Drugs) and was first announced at a school board meeting in June. The announcement came as part of a district response to growing concerns about widespread drug use on campus, especially at the high school. At the June board meeting, several parents spoke during the public comments section about alleged drug use by high school students.

The district announced a new mandatory drug testing policy for all KHS students enrolled in extracurricular activities including band, sports, cheerleading or UIL. Randomized drug screens would also be required for students who use a campus parking permit.

The KBAD program is a voluntary program intended to educate students on how to refuse drugs offered by peers and how to avoid and cope with peer pressure. The program will also sponsor events for high schoolers, giving them a safe and drug-free environment to socialize.

Students in the KBAD program may be subject to drug testing even if they are already subject to drug testing on campus as the result of extracurricular activity enrollment or parking privileges.

KPD Chief Todd Hunter pledged his support for the KBAD program, offering department funds to pay for drug testing and ID badges for students in the program.

In both programs, students who fail a drug test will lose privileges and will be required to undergo drug counseling.

KHS students who fail a campus drug test may also be required to submit to further testing throughout the school year.

So far, the KBAD program seems to be well-received by the community, with people at the June board meeting and on Facebook praising the idea.

“My daughter was part of this when she was in high school. Great program. I’m glad to see it coming back,” wrote Becky Jarman.

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