Salem Pledge Program

Salem City School Division

Enhanced Student Pledge Program Regulations & Concussion Information

The mission of Salem City Schools is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where ALL STUDENTS acquire the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to become successful and responsible citizens in the 21st century global community.

Children First, Every Child Every Day!

Mrs. Sarah W. Southard, Chairman

Mrs. Cindy W. Neathawk

Dr. Michael Chiglinsky

Mr. David Preston

Mrs. Artice Ledbetter

Dr. H. Alan Seibert, Superintendent

Additional information regarding the Enhanced Student Pledge Program can be

accessed at www.salem.k12.va.us

Additional information regarding concussions can be accessed at

www.cdc.gov/Concussion

Salem City Schools does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin,

disability, gender, or age in employment or in its educational programs and activities.

 

 

In 1986, Salem City Schools initiated the Salem Student Pledge Program with the realization that students who are actively using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs while participating in sports put themselves and their teammates at risk. The primary goal of the program was to maintain an atmosphere of both physical and mental well-being for
student athletes. Since that time, all student athletes and their parents have been required to attend seasonal meetings where information about the program is communicated. In order to participate, the athletes must sign the Pledge Card indicating they will not use alcohol, tobacco, or other illegal or synthetic drugs during the season. In addition, their parents must sign the Pledge Card noting that they understand and support the program.

Since the program began in 1986, parents, students, and coaches have been surveyed regularly regarding their perceptions of the Pledge Program. In general, survey participants indicate overwhelming support for the program but were indecisive regarding the expectation that students report their peers, and the perception that the pledge Program is fairly enforced, both of which limit the effectiveness of the program.

In addition, student athletes have consistently admitted to breaking their pledge during their athletic season at rates similar to national norms and the rates reported by students not involved in athletics. These indicators appear to illustrate the need for program improvements in order for the Pledge Program to act as a deterrent to alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use by students and to ensure an atmosphere of physical and mental well-being.

When asked to provide suggestions for program improvement, Salem athletes, parents, and coaches have consistently recommended adding randomized drug and alcohol screening to the Pledge Program. In fact, this has been the number one recommendation from SHS and ALMS coaches and students for many years. In addition, survey results indicate that parents and coaches agree that, “drug and alcohol testing should be administered to students randomly during their athletic seasons if the Pledge Program is going to have a real effect on Salem students.” Therefore, after carefully considering intervention and survey data, suggestions from stakeholders, and research related to randomized drug screening, Salem City Schools piloted the use of randomized alcohol, tobacco, and drug screening as an additional component of the Student Pledge Program during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 schoolyears. During the pilot period, Salem students in grades 7-12 who chose to participate in sports and/or competitive VHSL-sanctioned extracurricular activities were selected randomly using a unique identification number to participate in the screening program during their sport or activity season.

In the spring of 2011 the Division asked students to provide feedback regarding the enhanced pledge program. The results for the survey were presented to the Board during a work session on June 21, 2011. The results indicated that 86% of students
who participated in VHSL sanctioned, competitive activities chose not to use illegal

drugs, alcohol, or tobacco during their activity season, a 39% increase. The results also

indicated a high level of student support (74%) for the drug testing program.

The results of the two-year enhanced pledge program pilot were presented to the

School Board on July 10, 2012 for their consideration. As a result, the Board voted to

continue to include random urinalysis drug screening as a component of the Salem City

Student Pledge Program.

This Enhanced Student Pledge Program is based on the following facts:

• Student participation in extracurricular activities is voluntary. Students who

choose to participate do so with the understanding that their participation is a

privilege based on their adherence to high moral, ethical, and academic

standards.

• Medical studies have established that drug use affects motor skills, learning,

memory retention, reasoning ability and coordination.

• Except in extreme cases, drug use is difficult for laymen, or even physicians, to

detect by casual observation.

• No safe level of drug use has been established. Any measurable amount of a

mind-altering drug or alcohol in a person’s body can cause some degree of

impairment, even if that impairment is not readily apparent to the layman.

• The use of alcohol is illegal for anyone under the age of 21. All forms of drug use

without a prescription are illegal. The use of tobacco by anyone under the age of

18 is illegal.

This program is not intended to be disciplinary or punitive in nature. Primary emphasis

in administering this Program will be directed toward deterrence and remediation rather

than punishment of students who test positive for alcohol, tobacco, or illegal or synthetic

drugs. No student shall be expelled or suspended from the curricular program as a sole

result of any verified positive test conducted by the school under this program.

CITY OF SALEM SCHOOL DIVISION

Random Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Testing Regulations

Testing Coordinator

• The Salem Pledge Program Coordinator will coordinate and supervise the testing

program.

Eligibility for Testing

• Salem City students in grades 7-12 who choose to participate in athletics and/or

VHSL-sanctioned, competitive, extra-curricular activities not required by the

Board of Education for graduation will be required to participate in the random

testing program for illegal and synthetic drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in order to

participate in their chosen activity.

• Students become eligible upon submission of a consent form. Students must

submit a consent form immediately following the Student Pledge Program Parent

Meeting for their season or before their next practice following the Pledge

Program Meeting.

• Students remain eligible for random drug, alcohol, and tobacco testing from the

date the consent form is turned in through the end of their sport or extracurricular

activity season. In the event that a student eligible for random drug, alcohol, and

tobacco testing ceases to participate or withdraws from an athletic team or extra-
curricular activity, he or she will no longer be subject to random drug, alcohol,

and tobacco testing associated with this program.

For what Substances will Students be Tested?

• In administering the program, the division will test for the presence of certain

substances that may include, but are not limited to, the following substances or

their metabolites: alcohol, nicotine, marijuana (THC), synthetic cannabinoids,

opiates, cocaine, methamphetamines, anabolic steroids and phencyclidine (a/k/a

PCP), MDMA (a/k/a Ecstasy), and/or any other substance defined as a

“controlled substance” by either Virginia or Federal law.

Selection of Students for Random Testing

• A confidential testing schedule will be created by the Program Coordinators to

ensure that testing of eligible students is conducted in a manner that is random.

• Testing will only occur on student contact days during each sport or

extracurricular activity’s designated season.

• Selection of eligible students for testing will be conducted in a purely and entirely

random basis by a third party vendor selected by Salem City Schools to

administer the Random Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Testing Program.

• A separate group of students will be selected by sport or activity and

designated as alternates to be used in the event of student absence.

• The Program Coordinator will notify the individual(s) selected for testing

and escort them to the designated location for testing.

• The testing site will be at the participant’s respective school in an area that

has a secured bathroom which will maximize privacy of the participant or in

the office of an approved collection agency contracted by the school

division to collect and test urine samples.

• The names and/or any other personally identifiable information of the

participants will remain confidential.

• Participants are encouraged to protect their own confidentiality.

Suspicion Based Testing

• In the event that a coach, sponsor, or other school staff has reasonable suspicion

to believe that a member of a team or extracurricular activity has been using

drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, he/she will provide the Pledge Program Committee

composed of the Principal or his designee, the Athletic Director, and the Pledge

Program Coordinator.

• The Pledge Program Committee will meet with the player to further investigate

the suspected use. If the committee believes there is reasonable suspicion of

the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, the Program Coordinator will contact the

student’s parents to inform them that the student will be required to submit to a

drug screen which will be administered according to the procedures outlined

below.

Test Administration

• All aspects of the program, including the taking of specimens, will be conducted

so as to safeguard the personal and/or privacy rights of the participant to the

maximum extent possible. The program treats a participant’s test result as a

confidential health record pursuant to both federal and state regulations 42C.F.R.

2.1 and 2.2; VA Code § 32.1-127.1:03. As such, any information obtained by the

program which would identify the participant as a drug or alcohol user may be

disclosed only for those purposes and under those conditions permitted by

federal regulations in accordance with 42C.F.R. – Part II. No testing record of

any participant will be used to initiate or substantiate any criminal charges

against a participant or to conduct any investigation of him or her, and the

division will not share participants’ individual test results with law enforcement

authorities unless legally required by court order or subpoena.

• The Program Coordinator will coordinate the collection of specimens from the

selected students in accordance with federal Substance Abuse and Mental

Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) standards and forward the specimens

to a licensed laboratory for testing. The Program Coordinator or a designee may

conduct an initial on-site test on the specimen before sending the specimen to

the laboratory.

• The participant shall complete a specimen control form.

• The participant shall submit a urine specimen according the Salem City School

Division’s Random Testing for Illegal and Synthetic Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

Consent to Test Form.

• All students selected for testing must remain at the testing site under the direct

supervision of the Program Coordinator or a designee until he/she can produce

an adequate specimen for testing.

• Any attempt by a participant to tamper with the specimen collection process or

refusal by the participant to provide a sample, will be treated as a resignation

from all extracurricular activities for a period 365 days except in cases where a

positive sample would constitute a 3rd violation. In such cases, the student will

be banned from any further participation for the remainder of his/her enrollment

in the Salem City School Division. However, in cases where a positive result

would constitute a 1st or 2nd violation, a student and his/her parents may choose

to participate in a program of intervention consistent with the consequences for a

1st or 2nd violation under the supervision of the Program Coordinator in order to

be reinstated.

• All efforts will be made to minimize the instructional impact of testing and to

maintain the confidentiality and privacy rights of participants. All urine testing will

be conducted in a closed-door restroom without direct observation by adult

monitors.

• Specimens that test positive for the presence of illegal or synthetic drugs,

alcohol, tobacco, or their metabolites will be kept by the testing facility for at least

one hundred eighty (180) days pending an appeal of the test result.

Notification of Testing & Testing Results

• Students who choose to participate in division athletic programs and VHSL-
sponsored competitive, extra-curricular activities, not required by the Board for

graduation, are required to complete and sign the Salem City School Division’s

Random Testing for Illegal and Synthetic Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco Consent

to Test Form.

• When a participant tests positive for an illegal drug, alcohol, or tobacco, the

participant’s parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted directly by a Medical

Review Officer (MRO) to conduct a consultation. The consultation will address

the reasons for the positive test and a decision will be made by the MRO

regarding the legitimacy, validity, or accuracy of a positive test. Parents will have

5 business days to provide documentation of a legal prescription that may have

caused the positive test. The MRO will determine if that substance has been

taken pursuant to a legal prescription.

• Results of student tests confirmed by the MRO will be provided to the Program

Coordinator within twenty-four (24) hours of the MRO’s consultation with the

participant and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s).

• The division respects the privacy of its students and shall maintain confidentiality

regarding any alcohol and drug testing for this program. The results will only be

released to designated division personnel. All records and subsequent actions

shall be kept by the Program Coordinator in a file separate from the student’s

school records. The Program Coordinator will not release records of drug and

alcohol tests or any resulting action to anyone other than designated school

personnel and the student and/or his/her parent/guardian without written

authorization from the student and/or his/her parent/guardian in accordance with

42C.F.R. – Part II. Student drug testing information will not be turned over to any

law enforcement authorities except under circumstances in which the division is

legally compelled to surrender or disclose such test results.

• The Program Coordinator will destroy all records for each student when they

have no remaining eligibility to participate in VHSL activities due to the fact that

they have graduated, they are over the maximum age for participation, or they

have completed four years of eligibility.

• The testing company will maintain testing records according to their records

retention policies.

Appeal Procedure

• A student or his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) may request a retest of his/her

specimen at his/her own expense at a laboratory of their choice which follows

federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

standards concerning drug testing protocols and procedures. A written request

must be made within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the results of the drug

test from the Program Coordinator. The specimen previously submitted will be

forwarded to the approved lab in cooperation with the division approved outside

agency responsible for confirmatory testing.

• Results of the re-test will be provided to the Program Coordinator by the

approved laboratory. During the appeal period students may not participate in

athletics or VHSL-sanctioned, competitive, extra-curricular activities.

• The student will be ineligible to participate during the appeal.

Consequences

Consequences will result from the following:

• a confirmed positive test for alcohol, tobacco, or illegal or synthetic drugs;

• refusal to participate in testing when selected; and/or

• tampering with the specimen collection process; and

• a violation of rule 5 of the Student Conduct Code.

Students will be ineligible for participation in any athletics or VHSL-sanctioned

competitive, extra-curricular activities unless they complete the Salem City Schools

Random Testing for Illegal or Synthetic Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco Consent to Test

Form.

Any attempt by a participant to tamper with the specimen collection process or refusal

by the participant to provide a sample, will be treated as a resignation from all

extracurricular activities for a period 365 days except in cases where a positive sample

would constitute a 3rd violation. In such cases, the student will be banned from any

further participation for the remainder of his/her enrollment in the Salem City School

Division. However, in cases where a positive result would constitute a 1st or 2nd

violation, a student and his/her parents may choose to participate in a program of

intervention consistent with the consequences for a 1st or 2nd violation under the

supervision of the Program Coordinator in order to be reinstated.

Upon confirmation of a positive test or a student’s confession of illegal drug, alcohol, or

tobacco use as a result of an investigation based on suspicion of use, the student will

be ineligible to participate in athletics or extracurricular activities until they adhere to the

consequences outlined below.

It should be noted that the consequences outlined below are cumulative across each

participant’s athletic and/or extracurricular “career” in the Salem City School Division.

Each student’s “career” begins in the 7th grade or upon initial participation in an athletic

and/or VHSL-sanctioned, extracurricular, competitive activity and ends when they

graduate or cease to participate in athletics or VHSL-sanctioned, extracurricular,

competitive activities. For example, if a student has a positive test for an illegal drug,

alcohol, or tobacco in the 8th grade and, a second positive test for an illegal drug,

alcohol, or tobacco in the 11th grade, they will be subject to the consequences outlined

for a second offense.

Consequences – First Offense

Step 1 Upon confirmation of a positive screen for an illegal drug, alcohol, or

tobacco, or a student’s confession of illegal drug, alcohol, or tobacco use

as a result of an investigation based on suspicion of use, the Program

Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the student, his/her parents, and

the principal on the first school day following the confirmation of illegal

drug use to impose a suspension from athletic/extracurricular participation.

A minimum 14 day suspension will begin at that time. During this time, the

student may continue to attend scheduled meetings, practices, and

contests associated with his/her activity. However, they may not

participate in any manner. Written notification will be provided to parents

that will detail the conditions and the endpoint of the suspension which will

be a minimum of fourteen calendar days after its imposition.

Step 2 The Program Coordinator will conduct a screening interview with the

student and parents within the 14 day suspension. Based on the

interview, the coordinator will design an intervention program suitable for

the student.

Step 3 After the 14 day suspension and prior to resuming full participation with

his/her team, the student will be required to take an additional urinalysis

screen to prove that he/she no longer has any trace of illegal substances

in his/her system.

Step 4 The student and parents must participate in the recommended

intervention program at their expense. Progress reports will be provided

to the Program Coordinator to document the student’s successful

participation.

Step 5 The student and his/her parents must agree to regular testing for illegal

and synthetic drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for the student for the remainder

of the activity season.

Step 6 Upon satisfactorily attending all the prescribed intervention sessions, the

student will be provided with a letter of reinstatement from the Program

Coordinator indicating that he/she is a “student in good standing” and

eligible to resume regular participation with his/her team.

Note: Once a student has been reinstated, it will be up to the head coach to determine

when the student is ready to resume full participation based on his/her

assessment of readiness through careful observation and assessment in practice.

Second Offense

Step 1 Upon confirmation of a second positive test for illegal or synthetic drugs,

alcohol, or tobacco, or the student’s admission of continued use of illegal

or synthetic drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, the Program Coordinator will

schedule a meeting with the student, his/her parents, and the Principal on

the first school day following the confirmation of illegal drug, alcohol, or

tobacco use to impose a twelve week (84 day) suspension. Written

notification will be provided to the parents that will detail the conditions

and the endpoint of the suspension which will be a minimum of eighty-four

calendar days after its imposition.

Step 2 The Program Coordinator will conduct a screening interview with the

student and parents within two weeks of the beginning of the suspension.

Based on the interview, the Coordinator will design an intervention

program suitable for the student.

Step 3 The student and parents must participate in, and complete, the

recommended intervention program at their expense. Progress reports

will be provided to the Program Coordinator and the school in order to

document the student’s and parent’s successful participation.

Step 4 The student and his/her parents must agree to regular testing for illegal

and synthetic drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for the student during the 84

day suspension and for the remainder of his/her activity season.

Step 5 Following the 84 day suspension, and prior to resuming full participation

with his/her team, the student will be required to take an additional screen

for illegal and synthetic drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to prove that he/she

no longer has any trace of illegal substances in his/her system.

Step 6 Upon satisfactorily attending all the prescribed intervention sessions, the

student will be provided with a letter of reinstatement from the Program

Coordinator indicating that he/she is a “student in good standing” and

eligible to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities.

Third Offense

Upon confirmation of a third positive test for illegal or synthetic drugs, alcohol, or

tobacco, or the student’s admission of continued illegal drug, alcohol, or tobacco

use, the Program Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the student, his/her

parents, and the Principal on the first school day following the confirmation of

illegal drug, alcohol, or tobacco use to suspend the student from any further

athletic and/or extracurricular participation while enrolled in the Salem City

School Division.

COLLECTION PROCESS

Selected students are escorted from class or practice to the collection site. A specimen

of urine is collected following this process:

1. No purses, bags or containers may be taken into the collection area with the

student. All extra coats, vests, jackets, sweaters, etc., are to be removed before

entering the collection area.

2. The collector adds a bluing agent (food coloring) to the water in the urinal or

toilet.

3. Student is asked to rinse his/her hands and dry them. If no water is easily

accessible, an alcohol free wipe may be used instead.

4. The Testing Custody and Control Form is completed by the Student and

collector.

5. The student is told to urinate directly into the provided container and should

provide a sufficient amount of urine (at least 30ml) in one attempt. The student is

also told they are to hand the container of urine to the collector.

6. The student enters a closed stall or single use bathroom to collect the specimen,

and then hands the container to the collector when they exit the stall or

bathroom.

7. The collector checks the volume, reads and records the temperature within four

minutes of collection, and looks for evidence of tampering. If tampering is

suspected, a second specimen will be requested. A second suspected tampered

specimen will be considered refusal to test and the Program Coordinator will be

notified.

8. With the student watching, the collector will pour the specimen into the two

bottles and recap the specimen bottles tightly.

9. The collector takes the properly signed and student initialed bottle seals and

places them over the caps and sides of the bottles. The sealed bottles are placed

inside the transport bag.

10. The top lab copies of the Testing Custody and Control Form are folded with the

top portion visible to the outside and placed in the Requisition Pouch. The

transport bag and pouch are sealed as indicated. The student is given the donor

copy of the form.

11. The student may wash his/her hands and be released from the testing site.

12. The collector distributes the remaining copies of the form as required, being

responsible for getting the appropriate copy of the form to the MRO in a timely

manner.

13. The Program Coordinator will be notified immediately of any student who refuses

to give a urine sample or is suspected of tampering with the sample.

MEDICAL REVIEW OFFICER (MRO) RESPONSIBILITIES

The MRO will review all results of urine testing. Any urine specimen testing positive for

illegal and/or synthetic drugs, banned substances, or adulteration will be handled in the

following manner:

1. The MRO determines if any discrepancies have occurred in the Chain of

Custody.

2. Depending on the substances found in the urine, if necessary, the MRO will

contact the parent/guardian/custodian to determine if the student is on any

prescribed medication from a physician.

3. If the student is on medication, the parent/guardian/custodian will be asked to

provide documentation from the prescribing physician, within five working days,

to document what medication(s) the student is currently taking. Failure to provide

such requested information will be considered a positive result.

4. The MRO will determine if the prescribed medications resulted in the positive test

result. For example, a positive test result for codeine may be ruled negative by

the MRO when he receives a letter from the treating physician that the student

has been prescribed Tylenol© with codeine as a pain medication following tooth

extraction. Or, if the student has a positive screen for codeine and has no

documented physician order for the medication (maybe a parent gave the

student one of his/her pills), this would likely be ruled a positive test by the MRO.

5. Finally, the MRO, based on the information given, will certify the test results as

positive or negative and report this to the Program Coordinator, initially reporting

positive results by phone.

6. Screens positive for illicit drugs (marijuana, heroin, cocaine), alcohol, or tobacco

would automatically be considered positive by the MRO.

7. The MRO may use quantitative results to determine if positive results on repeat

tests indicate recent use of illicit or banned substances or the natural decline of

levels of the illicit or banned substance from the body. If the MRO feels the

quantitative levels determined to be above the established cutoffs do not reflect

current use but natural decay, then a negative result may be reported.