Obion County Board of Education
September 7, 2010

Agenda Item: IX.H.

Consider/Approve Amendment to Board Policy #6.3071 – Student Alcohol and Drug Testing

Background Information:

The Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) has recommended changes to Board Policy #6.3071 – Student Alcohol and Drug Testing, and this change reflects the latest legislative action. The Board’s current policy is included for your reference. Public Chapter 1136 authorizes school districts to enact a random drug testing policy for all extracurricular activities. All changes to the policy occur on page 2.

Jackson, Shields, Yeiser & Holt, a law firm from Memphis, sent an email that adequately describes random drug testing for extracurricular activities. Public Chapter 1136, effective July 1, 2010, amends TCA §49-6-4213 to allow random testing of students who participate in voluntary extracurricular activities.

The test must meet four standards to be considered reasonable. It must:

  1. Show the student violated school policy or was or was not impaired by drugs;
  2. Serve legitimate school interests such as safety, order, discipline or education;
  3. Not be conducted solely to discover evidence for criminal prosecution; and,
  4. Be witnessed by a person permitted by board policy to witness the test.

The district must have a policy that includes:

  1. Authorization for the random testing of students who participate in voluntary extracurricular activities;
  2. Procedures to ensure that students who test positive receive an assessment to determine the severity of the student's problem and a recommendation for referral to intervention or treatment resources as appropriate; and,
  3. Designation of persons who are permitted to serve as witnesses to the testing.

A student may not be suspended or expelled solely as a result of a positive test.

The school/district must:

  1. Notify the parent or legally responsible adult before the test is administered;
  2. Notify parents or guardians that students may be randomly tested and obtain their written consent for random testing prior to student's participation in voluntary extracurricular activity;
  3. Pay for all testing, supply all testing materials, and supply any subsequent counseling; and,
  4. Treat as confidential all records of the test, the request for a test, or any indication that the student was tested.

Staff Recommendation:

If the Board wishes to administer random drug testing to students who participate in extracurricular activities, I recommend adoption of the above-noted amendment to Board Policy #6.3071 and recommend approval on first reading.