School

CCSS Drug Testing Policy

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Submitted by Theresa Martin

*This policy will be discussed at the next CCSS School Board meeting on Monday, 10/25.*

Extra-curricular Participants

Drug Testing Policy

  I.  Statement of Need and Purpose

The Central Community School Board, hereinafter referred to as the Board, is a legal entity charged with the task of providing the best possible education to all students with a strong commitment to their health, safety, and welfare. The board acknowledges that extra-curricular activities are not an essential aspect of the educational process in Louisiana as enunciated in Bulletin 741. Therefore, student participation is not an absolute right but a privilege afforded the eligible students on an equal opportunity basis and thus is voluntary and not required by Board policy or state and/or federal law. In the Board’s commitment to maintain a safe and secure educational environment, a clear policy related to the detection, treatment referral, and prevention of substance abuse by students involved in extra-curricular activities is required. Therefore the expressed purpose of this policy is:

  1. To discourage students involved in extra-curricular activities from using drugs, and
  2. To protect the health and safety of students who voluntarily choose to participate in extra-curricular activities, and
  3. To provide identified students with a referral to an educational assistance program, and
  4. To preserve and maintain a positive learning environment for students entrusted to the care of the Board

 II.  Scope

Each student who wishes to participate in extra-curricular activities and drives a vehicle to school is subject to this drug testing program. Participation shall include practice, competition, and involvement in events associated with the extra-curricular activities. Participation shall not include attendance at school events such as athletic contests, drama productions, or social functions.

The recognized extra-curricular activities are athletics, performing band, performing choir, cheerleaders, dance team, and flag corps.

III.  Procedures

  1. Consent:  The parent and/or guardian and the student shall be required to sign a written consent for drug testing prior to any programs defined in the definition section. Anytime a student refuses to be tested he/she will be suspended from the team/activity for the remainder of the season.
  2. Medications:  Students who have been or are taking prescription medication must provide verification letter (by a copy of the prescription or by an original doctor’s statement) prior to being tested. Students who refuse to provide verification and test positive will be subject to the actions specified for “positive” testing.
  3. Initial Testing:  Prior to the beginning of the school year each student in grades 6-12 participating in extra-curricular activities will be required to take an initial drug test before they participate in any activities. Students who enroll after the beginning of the school year, receive a parking permit, or begin participation in any identified extra-curricular activity will be required to submit a consent form and be required to take an initial drug test before participating in any of these activities.
  4. Testing Frequency: After the initial testing, students in grades 6-12 participating in school sponsored, competitive, extra-curricular activities and driving shall be placed in a testing pool. Once a month thereafter for the entire school year, a percentage of students specified by the Board shall be randomly tested. Each school year, the Board shall determine the percentage of students to be tested. The testing laboratory shall select the dates for conducting the monthly random test; the selection of date shall not follow any recognizable pattern. Those selected for the random drug testing will be notified and tested the same day if possible.
  5. Random Selection:  The school system shall provide the testing laboratory with a list of all identified extra-curricular activity and driving participants. Parents may request or volunteer to place their child’s name in this random drug testing pool. Students shall be chosen for the testing by computer generated random selection conducted by the testing laboratory.
  6. Testing Standard:  Hair analysis has been selected as the method of testing. The collection process will be in accordance with those rules and regulations set forth by the Vendor, with the approval of and as revised by the Central Community School Board. The testing parameters shall be set at industry standards as defined by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The Vendor will have all specimens tested by a qualified laboratory certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) following the guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services and the College of American Pathologists (“CAP”) The Vendor shall also provide documentation that it has received FDA clearance for hair testing. The laboratory will utilize a patented sensitive technology (radioimmunoassay) to screen hair specimens. All specimens shall be routinely checked for cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, opiates, phencyclidine, and/or the metabolites of the aforementioned substances. On a random basis, other illegal drugs such as LSD, heroin and/or substances listed as a controlled dangerous substance by state statute and/or the metabolites of such substances, as customarily performed by the laboratory, may be screened at the request of the Superintendent or designee. All samples that are indentified as positive shall be confirmed using a highly reliable confirmation technology called Gas Chromatography/Mars Spectrometry. This prevents false positives resulting from other drugs or substances that have been ingested.
  7. Testing Procedures:  The student’s school ID number will be used in selection for random testing. Certified laboratory staff will perform the hair collections using established chain-of-custody procedures. Central Community School System designees will be the only persons privy to those selected for testing.

Students shall be tested in an isolated facility under the supervision of a school system official of the same sex. Each student shall provide a sample of hair (approximately 60 strands) which is cosmetically cut at the scalp from the crown of the person’s head. Students with insufficient head hair will have body hair collected, such as arm, leg, or underarm hair. The sample will be sealed by the designated collector and initialed by the tested student under full chain-of-custody procedures to ensure the correct identification of the hair sample and results. The sample will be taken or sent to the laboratory.

  1. Test Results: Test results shall be disclosed according to strict procedures regarding the chain of custody and access to the results. Student privacy shall be protected in accordance with all applicable laws. Test results shall be kept separate from other school system records and school system personnel shall be allowed to view the information only if they have a legitimate interest in the results. Results shall not be shared with law enforcement officials except as required by law.

 

 

  1. Chain of Custody:  To protect the student’s identity, the laboratory shall identify each sample according to assigned numbers not by names. Only the Superintendent’s designee shall have the master list of assigned numbers.

Once a student’s number is drawn:

  1. The student will be escorted to the test site where the student will sign in and complete a Chain of Custody Form.
  2. If a student is currently taking or has taken prescription medications, he/she shall provide to the screening agent notification to be given to the medical review officer for confirmation.
  3. Collection Process:  The collection process will be in accordance with those rules and regulations set forth by the Vendor, with the approval of and as revised by the Superintendent and the Central Community School Board. The Vendor is responsible for seeing that specimens are delivered to and/or picked up by the testing laboratory and any Chain of Custody form properly annotated.
  4. Notification:  When a student’s test indicates the presence of a prohibited substance identified in this policy, and within one school day of the laboratory receiving the confirmed positive test result, the parent shall be contacted by a medical review officer (MRO) employed by the       testing laboratory. The MRO shall confer with the parents to determine whether there is a medical explanation for the positive test result. If the parent provides the medical excuse with documentation, the MRO shall report the test result as negative. Without medical documentation, however, the MRO shall report as confirmed a positive test result to the designated school system administrator within one school day after conferring with the parent.
  5. Retest:  A student who tests positive may request a second test. A request for a retest must be made in writing to the Director of Student Services within 48 hours from the time the parents are notified by the MRO or a positive test result. The student/parent shall bear any expense for a retest. The student or parent may select the second laboratory from a list of nationally certified independent laboratories identified by the testing laboratory. The list of approved laboratories may be obtained from the Director of Student Services
    upon request. No result shall be accepted from a laboratory not on the school system’s list of approved laboratories.

Once a request for retest has been made, the school system’s testing
laboratory shall send the second container of the split specimen directly to the second laboratory for testing. The results of the test conducted by the second laboratory shall not be released to any person, organization, news publications, or other media any statistics on the rate of positive drug tests.

  1. Consequences:  The following consequences shall apply to any student who test positive for a drug in a test conducted under the provisions of this policy and who wishes to continue in participation in school sponsored, competitive, extracurricular activities and driving in a vehicle in the school system.

First Positive Test Results:  After the first confirmed positive test result:
      1.  The student shall be suspended from participation in all identified
           extracurricular activities and/or driving privileges for 10 school days or
           until the required documentation of counseling and a negative drug test                              result have been produced, whichever is longer.
      2.  A conference shall be conducted involving the designated school                            system official, personnel responsible for administering the
           extracurricular activity in which the student participates, the student,
           and the student’s parent.
      3.  The student shall provide documentation of attending and successfully
           completing two hours of substance abuse counseling from an approved
           provider, and;
      4.  The student shall submit to another drug test and produce a negative
           test result and;
      5.  The student shall be tested during each subsequent random drug-testing
           event for one calendar year.
      6.  Student/Parent shall bear expenses for all retest.

     If the student has not completed these consequences within ten school days  
     after the positive result is reported by the school system to the parent, the
     student shall be suspended from participating in all identified extracurricular
     activities and/or driving privileges until the required documentation and
     negative test results have been produced.

     Second Positive Test Results:  After a second confirmed positive test result:
                        1.  The student shall be suspended from participation in all
                             identified extracurricular activities and/or driving privileges for
                             20 school days or until the required documentation of
                             counseling and a negative drug test result have been produced,
                             whichever is longer.
                        2.  A conference shall be conducted involving the designated
                             school system official, personnel responsible for administering
                             the extracurricular activity in which the student participates, the
                             student, and the student’s parent.
                        3.  The student shall provide documentation of attending and
                             successfully completing four hours of substance abuse
                             counseling from an approved provider.
                        4.  The student shall submit to another drug test and produce a
                             negative test result and;
                        5.  The student shall be tested during each subsequent random
                             drug-testing event for one calendar year.
                        6.  Student/Parent shall bear expenses for all retest.

     Third Positive Test Results:  After a third confirmed positive test result:
                                    1.  The student shall be suspended from participation in all
                                         identified extracurricular activities and/or driving privileges for
                                         the remainder of the school year, for 88 school days, or until the
                                         required documentation of counseling and a negative drug test
                                         result have been produced, whichever is longer.
                                    2.  A conference shall be conducted involving the designated
                                         school system official, personnel responsible for administering
                                         the extracurricular activity in which the student participates, the
                                         student, and the student’s parent.
                                    3.  The student shall provide documentation of attending and
                                        successfully completing six (6) hours of substance abuse
                                         counseling from an approved provider.
                                    4.  The student shall submit to another drug test and produce a
                                         negative test result and;
                                    5.  The student shall be tested during each subsequent random
                                         drug-testing event for one calendar year.
                                    6.  Student/Parent shall bear expenses for all retest.

  1. End of Year Suspensions from Participation:  If a student’s suspension from participation in an identified extracurricular activities and/or driving privileges is not completed by the end of a school year, the student shall complete the assigned period of suspension during the first semester of the following school year.
  2. Substance Abuse Counseling:  The district shall recognize substance abuse counseling provided by a certified chemical dependency counselor or any agency certified by the State of Louisiana. A list of approved substance abuse counseling providers may be obtained from the Director of Student Services upon request.
  3. Refusal:  Refusal to provide a sample, or noncompliance with the testing procedures, by any student engaged in school-sponsored, competitive, extracurricular activities and/or driving a vehicle shall be considered a positive test result, shall be reported to the appropriate school system representatives, and shall result in consequence appropriate to the student’s testing history, as provided in this policy.
  4. Academically Non-punitive:A positive drug test shall not affect a student’s grade in any class, including any curricular class associated with an extracurricular activity. If participation in the extracurricular activity is required for the class, however, the student may be required to satisfy participation requirements in an alternative manner. Drug test results shall not be documented in the student’s academic records.

Appeals:  A parent or student may appeal a positive test result in accordance with local policy. Consequences established by this policy shall not be deferred pending the completion of the appeals process. If the outcome of the appeal is not in the student’s favor, the number of days the student has been suspended from participation in identified extracurricular activities and/or driving during the appeal process shall count toward the total number of days of required suspension. If the outcome of the appeal is in the student’s favor, the student shall be permitted to return to participation in all extracurricular activities and/or driving a vehicle.

4 Comments

  1. Lewis Bagot

    October 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I think the CCSS School Board is not justified in testing ONLY those students in extra-curricular activities at the CCSS Schools. If you are going to test one student you need to test them ALL. I cannot believe that drugs are used only by extra-curricular activity students. I do not have a child in the CCSS but I do support the system. They need to re-examine the system on their drug testing policy.

    • dave

      October 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

      I can easily see your point. The problem is it is illegal to do these tests on kids who don’t do anything outside of attending class. They are required by law to attend school, so the schools are not allowed to test kids who are simply following the law by attending school. They cant force parents to sign these forms in that situation. The school can test kids who are involved in extracurriculars, bc that is optional and a privelege. By joining in extracurriculars, the families are aware that they have to agree to testing. I also see the point several people are making in saying that the kids involved in all these activities may be more disciplined or may have less time to get involved in drugs. I bet the schools would be happy to randomly test all the students if it was legal in an effort to stop drug use on a wider scale, but that’s not the case. Maybe some time they could look into the possibility of regular students’ parents volunteering them for random drug testing, but I don’t know if that’s legal either.

  2. Samuel Adams

    October 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    The decision not only victimizes our children, it makes them the enemy. Being a public school student is now synonymous with being a criminal suspect or a prisoner. The values of trust and respect have been chased from the schoolyards and replaced with baseless suspicion and omnipresent policing. The lesson for America’s students as they stand in line with HAIR in hand, is that the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee is a broken promise, yesterday’s dusty trophy, worthy only of lip service. The Court’s ruling treats Central’s teenage students like suspects. If a student seeks to participate in after school activities his or her HAIR…60 STRANDS…can be taken and tested for any reason, or for no reason at all. Gone are any requirements for individualized suspicion. Trust and respect have been replaced with a generalized distrust, an accusatory authoritarian demand that students prove their “innocence” at the whim of the schoolboard.

    When exploring the tumultuous debate over students’ rights, many citizens argue that teenagers and adolescents are simply not yet qualified for full constitutional privileges. Specifically, since most teens in public school are not yet 18 years old, schools do not have to grant all students American freedoms and rights, including freedom of speech and the right to privacy. However, while most public school students are certainly below the legal voting age, many advocates argue that schools are still morally bound to treat all of their pupils with the country’s Constitutional rights. In fact, some experts argue that prohibiting public school students from exerting their natural rights keeps our children from learning valuable lessons of self-advocacy.

    It was a 5/4 split on the case they’re calling the “precedent”, the case in Oklahoma that went to SCOTUS for review, regarding the actions of the Tecumseh school system. The decision by the SCOTUS was made on the LAST DAY of their term, and Clarence Thomas said…

    “Because this policy reasonably serves the school district’s important interest in detecting and preventing drug use among its students, we hold that it is constitutional,”

    While some students may indeed be deterred from using drugs, the conventional wisdom (supported by empirical data) is that students who participate in extracurricular activities are some of the least likely to use drugs. Noting this, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose dissenting opinion was joined by Justices Stevens, O’Connor and Souter, harshly condemned random testing of such students as “unreasonable, capricious and even perverse,” because it targets for testing a student population least likely to be at risk for illicit drugs and their damaging effects.

    Aside from eviscerating the Fourth Amendment rights of the Community School District’s students and imposing a punishment that harms society as much at it harms students, the decision foreshadows a Constitutional Dark Ages. When a young person is told to surrender his HAIR for chemical examination, what “reasonable expectation of privacy” remains? When today’s students graduate and walk out from behind the schoolhouse gates, what will become of society’s “reasonable expectation of privacy?”

    Nanny State? Creeping usurpation of Constitutional birthrights under the guise of “safety”? Salem Witch Trials? YOU be the judge.

    I ask you this… We are conscientious, responsible, citizens, aren’t we? We ridicule stories of far away places where big government decides what is best for people and their children, right? We see that the School Board is trying to do the SAME THING right under our NOSES!!!!! DON’T WE??!!??!!

    This precedent is based on heinous interpretation of the Constitution…that BARELY passed in the first place. Does the 4th Amendment…and the Constitution of the United States of America mean anything in Central?

    This is NOT the place of the public municipal learning institution. Right to privacy is invaded in any case where proponents cry “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.”

    Right out of the Tecumseh playbook… http://voicesofamericanlaw.org/media/documents/Earls_policy.pdf Look familiar?

  3. Samuel Adams

    October 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    In layman:

    Are we going to ALLOW the School System to treat our children like guilty criminals? Isn’t that the opposite of innocent until proven guilty? Aren’t WE supposed to be the parents of our children before the place we send them to learn ACADEMICS assumes the role? The school is not a parent, and it DOES NOT have the right, under the Constitution of the USofA to take the hair from an innocent child’s HEAD!!!!!!!!

    Do we really live in a place where it will be the NORM for children to be talking about who got hair tested for drugs at school? What is this…inner city Los Angeles? We do NOT need anyone to parent our children for us. The Schoolboard and the facilitators of this “program” ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    This is S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M. And it is trampling the Constitution.

    Get it?

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