SOCSD Board of Trustees Approves Drug Policy for Student Athletes

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The Starkville Oktibbeha School District Board of Trustees have approved a drug testing policy for students in grades 9-12 that participate in extracurricular activities.  The new policy will be effective and implemented at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.  The entire policy is printed below.  

 

District:         Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District

Section:          J - Students

Policy Code:  JCDAB - Student Drug Testing Program Extracurricular Activities

 

Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Drug Screening Policy For Students That Participate In Extracurricular Activities Grades 9-12

Students, parents(s), and legal guardian(s) will be made aware of the drug testing process and the steps/consequences if and when a student tests positive. Every precaution will be taken to assure and maintain accuracy and confidentiality of the test results, including the maintenance of a documented chain of specimen custody to insure the identity and integrity of the sample throughout the collection and testing process.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of the Drug Screening Program is to aid and assist students. It is not intended to unduly interfere with the student's private lives or to bring hardship, but rather to protect the student's wellbeing and that of others who are associated with extracurricular activities in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District (hereinafter "the School District"). Specific goals of the program are as follows:

1. To educate School District students concerning the dangers and problems associated with drug use /abuse.

2. To prevent drug use/abuse by students of the School District.

3. To identify any student who may be using/abusing drugs and to determine the identity of the drug(s).

4. To educate any student who may be using/abusing drugs as to the possible effect it may have, both physically and mentally, and the possible adverse effect on the team and its members.

5. To provide opportunities for treatment and counseling rehabilitation for any student who is determined to be using/abusing drugs.

6. To provide reasonable safeguards that every student in the School District in grades 9-12 is physically competent to participate in extracurricular activities.

7. To encourage discussion (with qualified counseling) about any questions the student may have, either specifically or generally, concerning the use of drugs.

 8. To remove the stigma of drug use/abuse from those students who do not use/abuse drugs.

 

The School District, along with the Board of Trustees and Administration, strongly believe that the use and abuse of drugs (excluding those prescribed to an individual by a physician to treat specific medical problems) can:

1. Be detrimental to the physical and mental health of its students.

2. Seriously interfere with the performance of individuals as students.

3. Be extremely dangerous to students’ teammates, particularly with regard to the participation in competition or practice.

4. Create an unfair and damaging stigma for those student who do not use and abuse drugs.

 

Because of the genuine concern for each student participating in extracurricular activities in the School District and the student’s well-being, as well as the obligation to assure that extracurricular programs are operated in the best interest of all who participate, the School District, beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, is implementing drug testing, and counseling/rehabilitation to assist and benefit all students who participate in extracurricular activities.

The ultimate goal is for all students involved in extracurricular activities in grades 9-12 to participate in the drug-screening program. Only students participating in extracurricular activities will be tested. For the purpose of this program, extracurricular activities refers to any student participating in the following activities: archery, baseball, band, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, choir, cross country, debate, E-Sports, football, golf, JROTC, power lifting, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball, swimming, and any other activity sanctioned by Mississippi High School Activities Association.

The drug-screening program shall be implemented in accordance with the established board policy by the Administration with the advice and assistance of representatives from the medical profession. The contracting biomedical laboratory shall be approved by the Board of Trustees and conduct drug testing according to national accepted standards and procedures. The testing shall be done only after written consent from the student and the student's parent/legal guardian.

Provisions will be made to test any student who transfers into the School District from another district who participates in extracurricular activities, or any student who was unavoidably excused from the first test.

If any student and/or parent/legal guardian refuses to sign the drug testing information release form for the student to take the test, the student will immediately be suspended from participation in extracurricular activities.

Procedures for Testing

Quality control and confidentiality is assured as follows

  1. An assistant(s) from the contracting agency, under the supervision of a school employee, shall be responsible for the collection and labeling of drug testing samples.
  2. Gum labels that include each student's MSIS number shall be used to identify the samples
  3. A school employee shall be present with the assistant(s) when the samples are being collected.
  4. The student’s signature listed adjacent to the MSIS number shall indicate that the number is correct and matches the number affixed to the bottle containing the sample.
  5. Bottles and packaging provided by the contracting agency shall be utilized to properly obtain and transport samples.
  6. The samples shall be analyzed for the substances specified in the School District's Drug Screening Program Policy by the contracted agency selected to perform the laboratory work.
  7. The Administration shall assure that the School Board policy is implemented on a fair and consistent basis for all students who participate in School District extracurricular activities.
  8. Drug counseling as indicated in School Board policy shall be provided by Community Counseling.
  9. SOCSD will pay for counseling with Community Counseling after the first and second positive only.  Parent/ Guardian will be responsible for counseling thereafter.
  10. To reassure students, parents, and the community that the health and academic progress of each of its students is the primary goal of the School District.
  11. To develop a drug free program and produce students who can serve as role models to influence peers to lead healthy and responsible lives.

THE DRUG SCREENING PROGRAM (STARKVILLE HIGH SCHOOL ONLY)

Students will be subject to drug screening to test for the following substances, the use of which is expressly prohibited:

  • Amphetamines            
  • Barbiturates            
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone
  • Phencyclidine    
  • Propoxyphene

Drug Screening - The drug screening shall consist of the collection of a urine, saliva, or hair follicle sample from the student by any assistant(s) from the contracting agency under the supervision of designated school employees. Each sample shall be analyzed for the presence of drugs identified previously in this document by the contracting agency, which has been approved by the Board of Trustees of the School District.

The contracting agency shall report all test results to the school principal, district superintendent, the athletic director, and head coach. The Principal, along with the Athletic Director, will review the test results report to determine which, if any, of the test results are positive for purposes of this program. A positive result shall mean a test result which indicates the presence of one or more of the listed drugs in the student’s sample. A test will not be determined positive until it is double checked and validated. The student and their parent/legal guardian shall be notified in writing if and when a student tests positive.

Random testing will be performed throughout the academic year for the aforementioned drugs. Also included in the random testing will be students who have tested positive at an earlier date during their high school career.

EFFECTS OF POSITIVE RESULTS

First Positive: If the positive result is verified and confirmed, the following steps will be taken: 

  1. The students’ parents(s) or legal guardian(s) will be advised of the results. 
  2. A positive test will result in a drug counseling program coordinated by a district approved contracting agency and paid for by the SOCSD. This program will be one day per week and at least one hour in length per session until two weeks for the first positive.
  3. The student will undergo drug counseling for a period of not less than two weeks. It will be recommended to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) that they attend the first and last counseling meeting. During the counseling period, the student will be permitted to participate in practice provided the parent/legal guardian and student sign a medical release form releasing the School District from liability, but the student will forfeit participation in interscholastic participation according to the following schedule:
  4.   Archery - 2 Matches
  5.   Band – 2 Weeks/ Events
  6.   Baseball - 4 Games Basketball - 4 Games Bowling - 2 Matches Cheerleading - 2 Events
  7.   Choir – 2 Weeks/ Events
  8.   Cross Country - 2 Meets
  9.   Debate – 2 Weeks/ Events
  10.   E-Sports - 2 Weeks
  11.   Football - 2 Games
  12.   Golf - 2 Matches
  13.   JROTC -2 Weeks/Events
  14.   Power Lifting - 1 Meet
  15.   Soccer - 4 Games
  16.   Softball - 4 Games
  17.   Swimming - 2 Meets
  18.   Tennis - 2 Matches
  19.   Track & Field – 2 Meets
  20.   Volleyball - 4 Matches

And any other MHSAA sanctioned event

NOTE: The student who participates in more than one activity will forfeit participation in interscholastic contests in only the activity that is currently in season or the next activity in season after the positive test.  Students who test positive for drugs may forfeit certain team and individual awards as determined by the activity head or Athletic Director.

Second positive:

After re-instatement and later in the academic year, the student will be re-tested. If a positive result is verified and confirmed, the principal, district superintendent, athletic director, and head coach will be immediately notified. A conference will then be scheduled promptly with the student and parent(s)/legal guardian(s). The student will immediately be suspended from participating in practice and interscholastic competition for twenty-eight (28) consecutive days.

The student will be re-tested after the twenty-eight (28) consecutive day suspension period.  If  the student's test is negative the student will be reinstated to participate in activities provided that the student and the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) sign a release form releasing the School District from liability. Another positive result will result in the student being suspended from the activity. The student will undergo drug counseling, paid for by the SOCSD,for a period of not less less than two weeks.  It will be recommended to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) that they attend the first and last counseling meeting.  During the counseling period, the student will be permitted to participate in practice provided the parent/legal guardian and student sign a medical release form releasing the school district from liability, but the student will forfeit participation in interscholastic participation for twenty-eight consecutive days.

Third positive:

After reinstatement and later in academic year the student will be re-tested. If a positive result is verified and confirmed, the principal, district superintendent, athletic director, and head coach will be notified. A letter will be mailed to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) from the Principal notifying them that the student has been suspended from the team immediately.  With the third positive test, the student will be suspended from participation for the completion of the present semester AND for the following FULL semester as defined by the school calendar. Drug counseling will be at the expense of the parents or legal guardians for the third positive.

Adopted Date:                          4/9/2019

Approved/Revised Date:          4/9/2019