The Board of Education recognizes that drug and alcohol use by students results in a significant health and safety risk to students and the educational environment. The Random Student Drug Testing Policy is intended to be a helpful part of the overall physical, mental and health education of students. In addition to the alcohol and drug testing program, the school district will continue to utilize the school health curriculum and local community substance abuse education and treatment providers to teach students about the harmful effects of drug and alcohol use and to prevent students from using drugs and alcohol.
A. POLICY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The random drug-testing program is not intended to punish students, but to help them. Goals of the random student drug-testing program are:
1. To educate students about the dangers and problems associated with drug and alcohol use/abuse;
2. To deter drug and alcohol use/abuse by students;
3. To identify students participating in competitive interscholastic athletics, extracurricular activities or driving to school and parking on campus who may be abusing drugs and to determine the identity of the drug(s);
4. To provide information to parents so that parents/guardians can take appropriate steps at the family level to assist students;
5. To motivate students to resist negative peer pressure and have a good reason to “say no” to drugs and alcohol;
6. To provide opportunities for counseling and treatment for any student who is determined to be using/abusing drugs and alcohol;
7. To help ensure the safety of students who participate in competitive athletics, extracurricular activities or who drive to school and park on campus;
8. To develop a drug-free program that produces students who can serve as role models and influence their peers to lead healthy and responsible lives;
9. To complement the school system’s overall drug education program; and
10.To provide for the safety and well-being of all students, school staff, and community members visiting our campuses.
Information concerning this policy and the mandatory drug testing program will be included in the student handbook, provided to all students before beginning athletic and extracurricular participation and driving privileges, and will be explained to students and faculty at least once a year and will be further publicized to students and parents as the superintendent deems appropriate.
C. OTHER POLICIES RELATED TO DRUG/ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS
Nothing in this policy is intended to alter other school district policies or practices in dealing with drug or alcohol use or possession where reasonable suspicion of the use or possession is obtained by means other than random testing under this policy. Students who violate policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol, will be disciplined in accordance with that policy.
D. STUDENTS SUBJECT TO RANDOM DRUG TESTING
Participation in interscholastic athletics, extracurricular activities, and campus driving/parking are privileges, not rights. Students participating in these activities and enjoying these privileges are expected to hold themselves as good examples of conduct, sportsmanship and training, which includes avoiding drug and alcohol usage. Student participating in these privileged activities are respected and admired by a large segment of the student body of each school and serve as leaders and representatives of the school and school district and role models for other students. The use of drugs and alcohol by participants in these activities is likely to influence the decisions of other students. Further, athletic competitions, extracurricular activities, and campus driving and parking occur in environments where safety is essential. A student who uses drugs and alcohol can be a danger to him/herself and others in the educational environment. The board believes that random drug testing of these students will deter drug use among high school students, prevent injuries to the student or others, and help maintain a safe educational and school activity environment.
1. All students in grades 9 – 12 who desire to participate in any of the following voluntary school activities or privileges must agree to participate in the random student drug testing program:
a. Interscholastic athletics;
b. Extracurricular activities; and
c. Campus driving and parking privileges.
2. Participation in the random drug-testing program is mandatory only for students who elect to participate in the above voluntary activities in which participation is a privilege not a right. Participation in the random drug-testing program shall not be required as a condition of attending school or enrolling in any class. However, every student attending a Wilkes County School is subject to board policy 4325, Drugs and Alcohol, which prohibits the possession, use, transmission and being under the influence of drugs and alcohol while at school or at an off-campus school activity.
3. Any parent of a student in grades 9-12 may consent to the student voluntarily participating in the random drug testing program, whether or not the student is a participant in any of the privileged activities listed above. The same procedures will apply, as outlined in this policy, for all students participating in random student drug testing.
4. Students wishing to participate in the above noted activities and privileges and the student’s custodial parent or guardian (unless the student is 18 years of age or emancipated) must give consent in writing on a form approved by the superintendent for random drug testing and for the release of the test results to the medical review officer, the superintendent’s designee, school principal, the student, and the student’s custodial parent or guardian.
5. Once written consent for participation in the drug testing program has been granted, it will remain valid for the duration of the student’s enrollment with Wilkes County Schools. Should a parent/guardian decide to withdraw their student from the random drug testing selection pool, they may do so at any time by choosing the “opt-out option” (located on the bottom of the Statement of Participation form). Should the parent/guardian chose this option, the student will immediately be excluded from participating in the privileged activities included in this policy.
E. ROLES OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL AND KEY IMPLEMENTATION ROLES
1. Wilkes County School personnel shall not assist with the actual testing or physical collection of the student samples, shall have no access to the test samples, and shall not select the students who will be randomly tested.
2. Key Implementation Roles
a. Contracted Test Administrator (Vendor) - The drug testing program will be implemented on behalf of the school district by a Test Administrator, which shall be an independent agency or entity operating under contract with the Board of Education. The contracted Test Administrator shall have experience in implementing a drug testing program.
b. Medical Review Officer (MRO) - The contracted Test Administrator shall employ or provide by subcontract, a licensed physician certified as a Medical Review Officer.
c. Superintendent's Designee - The superintendent shall designate an administrator of the school district to coordinate the district's drug testing program (District Drug Test Coordinator). This administrator will receive all information and results provided by the vendor and the MRO in order to fully coordinate this program.
d. Licensed Substance Abuse Professional (LSAP) - Licensed substance abuse professionals whose professional credentials are acceptable to the superintendent and/or designee shall conduct all substance abuse assessment and counseling services.
F. PROCESS FOR RANDOM SELECTION
The selection of students to be tested shall be done in a manner calculated to protect the identity of those being tested. As allowed by school district budget and activity participation levels, the Test Administrator shall randomly select students from each high school to be tested during the school year. The percentage and/or number of eligible students to be tested in the course of a year will be determined by the superintendent and the Test Administrator. The day of testing shall be varied so that it does not become predictable.
G. DRUGS TO BE TESTED
Students may be tested for any of the following substances: amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, cocaine, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, barbiturates, alcohol and other drugs or harmful substances that the superintendent deems appropriate. All testing will be conducted by urine, saliva, or hair specimen as determined by the superintendent and the Test Administrator.
H. TESTING PROCEDURES
The superintendent shall develop and implement testing procedures for the drug testing programs that:
1. Respect the privacy interest of students during the collection of testing samples;
2. Provide a secure chain of custody of each student’s testing sample;
3. Provide for a screening and confirming test using generally accepted testing procedures by an approved laboratory;
4. Provide an opportunity for a student who tests positive for drugs to submit appropriate documentation of any medications he/she is using to the MRO to explain the results before the results are reported to the District Drug Test Coordinator and school principal;
5. Provide an opportunity for a student who tests positive to submit a portion of his/her sample (if available) to a private approved laboratory at the student’s expense for a second confirming test; and
6. Ensure that if there is an exclusion from activity or privilege participation, other school staff, students, or parents shall not be told the reason by school or testing officials.
I. REFUSAL TO BE TESTED
If a student refuses to participate when selected to be tested, it will be treated as a positive test result. If a student leaves school or skips class without a valid excuse after it becomes known that students are being tested, this shall be considered a refusal to be tested. If a student indicates that he/she is physically unable to be tested due to medical reasons, the medical review officer will consult with the student’s physician and determine whether or not the student has a legitimate medical reason for being excused from the testing.
J. CONSEQUENCES FOR POSITIVE TEST RESULT
1. FIRST POSITIVE TEST
a. In the event that a student tests “positive” for a prohibited substance, the MRO will inform the student and the student’s parent/guardian of the positive test result and of the opportunity to explain the positive result (through prescription or other medical documentation), to have the remaining sample retested (if available and at the student and parent/guardian’s expense), or to have a new sample tested, pursuant to procedures established for this policy (and at the student and parent/guardian’s expense).
b. If the parent/guardian fails to conference with the MRO within 3 days, the test will be reported to the District Drug Testing Coordinator as “positive non-contact.”
c. If the positive result in not satisfactorily explained or documentation of a second negative test (administered by the contracted provider) obtained at that time, the MRO will notify the District Drug Testing Coordinator.
d. The District Drug Coordinator and the school principal shall meet with the student and the student’s parent/guardian. The parent/guardian shall be provided a list of local substance abuse counseling providers and a comprehensive substance abuse assessment for the student shall be scheduled as soon as possible. The student will be excluded from participation in the privileged activities included in this policy until the student completes a comprehensive substance abuse assessment, provides a medical doctor’s release for participation in the activities included in this policy, and has a negative drug test to protect his/her safety and health and that of others in the school environment. All cost of substance abuse assessment and recommended counseling interventions or treatment shall be the responsibility of the student and parent/guardians.
e. The parent/guardian must provide a copy of the substance abuse assessment and recommended intervention(s) to the school principal. Any treatment or intervention prescribed by the substance abuse assessment must begin immediately and be continuing for the student to be eligible for continued participation in school privileges. No student will be excluded from participating in privileged activities as long as the student is in compliance and regular participation in any substance abuse provider recommended treatment and has provided a negative drug test. Failure to follow through with the intervention or treatment recommended by the substance abuse assessment will result in immediate exclusion from participation in the activities named in this policy for the remainder of the semester.
f. The student will be subject to a mandatory drug retest within 60 calendar days of the first positive test by the school system contracted provider.
2. SECOND POSITIVE TEST
a. If a student fails a drug test for the second time during the same academic year, whether from a subsequent random test or the mandatory follow-up test, the student will be excluded from participation in the privileges named in this policy for the remainder of the semester.
b. To be eligible to participate the next semester following a second positive test, the student must complete a second comprehensive substance abuse assessment, provide a medical doctor’s release for participation in the activities included in this policy, and have a negative drug test to protect his/her safety and health and that of others in the school environment. All costs of substance abuse assessment and recommended counseling interventions or treatment shall be the responsibility of the student and parents/guardians.
K. EVALUATION OF POLICY
The superintendent will provide data to the board to periodically review the effectiveness of this policy and will suggest any needed changes to make the policy more effective.
Cross References: 4325 Drugs and Alcohol
Adopted: August 3, 2015
Revised: September 14, 2015 Revised: April 3, 2017