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!
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
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 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.
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.
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
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.