Student Substance Abuse Policy
6.23 Student Competitive Extracurricular Activity Substance Abuse Policy
6.23.1 Prohibition – For the safety, health and wellbeing of students in extra-curricular activities the Vestavia Hills City Schools has adopted this policy for use by all participants in interscholastic extra-curricular activities in grades 7 - 12.
Participation in school-sponsored interscholastic extra-curricular activities at the Vestavia Hills City Schools is a privilege. Students who participate in these activities should be respected by the student body and are representing the school district and the community. Illegal and performance-enhancing drug use of any kind is incompatible with the physical, mental, and emotional demands placed upon participants in extra-curricular activities and upon the positive image these students project to other students and to the community on behalf of the Vestavia Hills City Schools.
Accordingly, students in extra-curricular activities carry a responsibility to themselves, their fellow students, their parents and their school to set the highest possible examples of conduct, sportsmanship, and training. Therefore, Activity Students are prohibited from violating the Board’s tobacco/nicotine, drug, or alcohol policies and are prohibited from using tobacco, nicotine, drugs or alcohol at any time. Activity Students must inform their coach or sponsor when they are legitimately taking medication that may affect their ability to practice or compete, in order to avoid creating safety problems.
6.23.2 Definition – "Activity Student" means a member of any middle school (7-8) or high school (9-12) Vestavia Hills City Schools sponsored extra-curricular organization which participates in interscholastic competition. This includes any student that represents Vestavia Hills City Schools in any extra-curricular activity in interscholastic competition, such as, but not limited to, Academic Teams (Debate, Math, FBLA, Scholars Bowl, TSA, JUNA), Band, Choral, Rebelettes, Cheerleaders, Majorettes, Dance Team, and Athletics.
6.23.3 Enforcement – To better ensure these expectations, the Board reserves the right to require all Activity Students to submit to drug tests to maintain safety and security. The School Board has developed this testing program for Activity Students to follow, as appropriate, the process of 49 CFR Part 40 and the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. The Board encourages, and may require its employees to be trained in tobacco, alcohol, and drug usage recognition skills.
Activity Students may be tested prior to beginning a seasonal activity, during the season of the activity, or on a random basis without advance notice. When Board officials (Employees) have reasonable suspicion to believe an Activity Student has violated the Board’s tobacco, drug, or alcohol policies, they may require the student to undergo drug testing.
An Activity Student who has tested positive for tobacco/nicotine, alcohol, and/or other drugs and whom had the positive test result confirmed by the Board's Medical Review Officer will be subject to discipline, which may include suspension from student extra-curricular activities. Refusal to cooperate with the Board in any test investigation will result in discipline, up to and including immediate suspension from participating in student activities.
No Activity Student testing positive, refusing to test, refusing to cooperate with testing or being in violation of this policy will be penalized academically. Information, including testing positive, will not be released to criminal or juvenile authorities unless under compulsion by valid state or federal laws. This policy is developed to help Activity Students be tobacco/nicotine/drug/alcohol free in compliance with the Board’s tobacco, drug, or alcohol policies. The Board will work with the student and/or his or her parents or guardians when there is any violation of this policy and procedures.
6.23.4 Confidentiality – All information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, and test results, either written or otherwise, received by the Board through its drug, alcohol and tobacco testing program are confidential communications and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceedings except in the following:
(a) As directed by the specific, written consent of the parent/guardian and/or Activity Student authorizing release of the information to an identified person.
(b) To a covered Activity Student decision-maker in a lawsuit, grievance, or other proceeding initiated by or on behalf of the Activity Student.
Any questions should be directed to the persons assigned as the Board's Drug Program Coordinator(s).
6.23.5 Construction – The sanctions imposed for violations of this policy will be limitations solely upon limiting the opportunity of any student determined to be in violation of this policy to a student's privilege to participate in extra-curricular activities. No suspensions from school or academic sanctions will be imposed for violations of this policy. This policy supplements and complements all other policies, rules, and regulations of the Vestavia Hills City Schools regarding possession or use of illegal drugs.
This policy in no way circumvents nor may be used in place of Board Policy and School Rules pertaining to the use, possession, distribution, manufacturing, of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs at/or away from school, School Board property, or at school sponsored events. If an Activity Student is in violation of such policies and rules, disciplinary consequences will be through normal school channels associated with said policies and rules. The consequences under the "Drug Screening Policy" become secondary.