CHS Continues Drug-Free Program

Chillicothe High School is continuing a program aimed at keeping students drug-free. Chillicothe City Schools Superintendent Jon Saxton said students who join Keys to Success have a chance to win a new car, a scholarship, and other prizes if they pass drug tests, stay out of trouble, and maintain a 1.75 gpa or higher. 

Last year, nearly 400 students joined. According to Saxton, this was up from the 104 students who were in Keys to Success and drug tested three times during the 2015-2016 academic year.

"We've had very few -- in fact, hardly any -- Keys to Success positive drug tests," said Saxton. 

He said there is also a self-reporting component geared toward keeping youth on the right path. 

"So if a kid is having a time or maybe struggling with a problem, we have a way in which they can do that and still remain as part of the program."

In an effort to cover the costs needed to fund drug-testing, provide incentives, and allow the students to join free of charge, the Chillicothe City School District is running a marketing campaign. Debbie Bettendorf is leading that charge.

"It's an actual opportunity for local businesses to have their advertising done through our city school district on our jumbotron, small commercials, and things like that," said Bettendorf. "That's how we're going to try to beef up the program to be able to give it legs on its own and not have to necessarily rely on alumni all the time."

While most of the money raised will go to Keys to Success, the athletic department and journalism program will also receive a portion of the proceeds, Bettendorf said. 

Both Saxton and Bettendorf touted the effects of Keys to Success, stating it gives students "a reason to say 'no.'"

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