A high school math teacher in Bullitt County, Kentucky was recently arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamines. According to a report from a local ABC News affiliate, the teacher in question is currently employed at Bullitt County high, and has been since June 2014. Prior to her job at the local high school, the teacher had spent seven years employed with the Eminence Independent School District. The two districts are about an hour apart from one another, and both are located in close proximity to Louisville.
When she was hired at Bullitt Central High School, the teacher had to undergo pre-employment background checks. Precisely what those checks entailed isn't clear, but the local ABC News report does indicate that the woman had no criminal history on record as of her June 2014 hiring. Furthermore, since the district likely checked locally and statewide, and since the 33-year-old suspect had spent seven years teaching in a district just 50 miles away, it's unlikely that she had convictions in other states that the Bullitt County Public School district missed or overlooked.
Since the teacher was arrested on Friday, December 18th, the same day that Bullitt County Public Schools broke for winter break, the district will have ample time to review the situation and determine whether or not to suspend her or terminate her employment. In the meantime, though, as news of the arrest grabs headlines everywhere from local news outlets to the Associated Press, parents of Bullitt County Public Schools students might be wondering why the district isn't taking extra stepsâ€”specifically, drug screenings, to keep their kids safe.
Drug tests are a common type of pre-employment screening in many workplace environments and are often administered alongside criminal record searches and other types of background investigations. Some employers will even run drug tests on a random or repeat basis, to ensure a drug-free workplace. Since drugs are a sensitive subject for high schools, anyway, schools like Bullitt County High might benefit from adding drug screenings to the regular policy for pre-employment checks.
The hope, of course (and in many cases, the assumption) is that teachers will be responsible enough to abstain from drug use. However, following an arrest of this magnitude, as well as the negative publicity it brings to Bullitt County Public Schools, the district might not be able to afford such an assumption anymore. Drug tests for all teachers would not only help ensure a safer, more positive environment for students but could also help prevent PR issues like this one from occurring in the future.