Obion County Board of Education
February 7, 2011

Agenda Item: VIII.C.

Discuss Board Policy Concerning Student Alcohol and Drug Testing

Background Information:

On September 7, 2010, the Board approved, on first reading, an amendment to Board Policy #6.3071 which would allow random drug testing of students who participate in extracurricular activities. The Board further declared that specific guidelines shall be met as stated in TCA §49-6-4213 and the effective date of policy change would be July 1, 2011. At the October 4, 2010 meeting, a motion was made and properly seconded to table the second reading of the amendment to Board Policy #6.3071 until further study was performed. Additionally, the Board suggested that the Board’s student representative conduct a poll among students to get input from a student’s perspective.

The student bodies of Obion County Central and South Fulton High Schools were surveyed to provide input on the issue of random drug testing and the survey results are attached. Nearly 62% of the students answering the survey approved the practice of randomly drug testing students who are involved in extra-curricular activities.

Additionally, Mr. Hollowell has obtained several price quotations on how much would need to be budgeted to conduct random drug testing. Based on 600 students, testing 10% at a time, five (5) times during a school year, the funds needed would range from about $2,500 to $9,000. Therefore, the cost of the tests is not a significant issue.

I have contacted the Department of Education’s staff attorney and was advised that our school counselors could do the initial consultation if they had the knowledge to properly counsel and assess alcohol and drug related issues. Ms. Kendall’s training is in dealing with alcohol and drug related issues. We are continuing to inquire as to the cost of services after this initial consultation. In addition, personnel from Obion County Central and South Fulton High Schools will be meeting to address procedures that comply with TCA §49-6-4213. Once developed, these procedures will be forwarded to the Board for further input.

Staff Recommendation:

For informational and discussion purposes only. To have a second reading on this policy amendment, the Board will need to make a motion and a second for the item to be removed from the table. Afterwards, further discussion and a vote can take place.