School system revises drug testing policies

Patrick Yost News

The Morgan County Board of Education Monday heard new changes to the school system’s drug testing policy.

According to Morgan County Athletic Director Doug Connelly, the changes will “strengthen” the policy.

Currently students who participate in either athletics at Morgan County High School or who purchase a parking permit are eligible to be “randomly” drug tested at any time at the school. Agreeing to drug testing, Connelly said, was a condition to participate in sports or in driving to the school since 2008.

“It was and will continue to be a requirement to complete… in athletics or purchase a parking permit as both are a privilege,” Connelly told the board.

Students must complete and submit a consent for agreeing to random drug testing at the school. According to board policy, the school will assign each student a unique number. Numbers would be chosen, not a name, when random drug testing occurs.

Substances to be test for, by an outside agency include, “…but are not limited to: marijuana, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, opiates, and propoxyphene,” the document says.

A student who does test positive for drugs will, on the first positive test, forfeit 10 percent off all athletic contests scheduled or forfeit 10 percent of all parking days at the school. The student must also agree to a second toxicology test to be paid for by the family.

If there is a second positive test result, the student would immediately be suspended from the sports team or have parking privileges revoked. Also, the document states, the student must agree to:

• “Participation in a drug treatment and counseling program for a minimum of four weeks. Parents/Guardians will be expected to participate in the program. Program matriculation costs will be the responsibility of the parent(s)/guardian(s).

• Signing an agreement releasing the Morgan County Board of Education from any liability for injury or illness resulting from drugs and/or treatment.

• Applying for reinstatement to the team after a minimum of four weeks if the following provisions are met: (a) a negative drug screen, administered by a medical professional in an approved healthcare setting, is provided to school administration (b) an agreement is made to continue with drug counseling (c) an agreement is made to be subjected to future unannounced screening on demand and (d) the student and parent/guardian understand the application for reinstatement may be denied. The principal, head coach (if applicable), and athletic director (if applicable) will determine reinstatement.”

A third positive test result would result in the suspension of all athletic events and parking for a full year.

It also includes continued counseling and treatment and further testing at the parent’s expense.

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