School board addresses drug policies

The Board of Education approved four policies during its Sept. 20 meeting — one policy pertaining to food service charging, and three pertaining to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Cafeteria meal charging

The district’s new Food Service Charging policy ( No. 3542.43 ) allows students to “charge cafeteria meals on occasions when they do not have money on hand to cover costs.” Under the policy, students can charge up to a balance of -$9.

“When that limit is reached,” the policy states, “alternative meals will be provided until outstanding charges are paid in full.” The policy defines an alternative meal as “any meal served to a student that is different from the day's advertised reimbursable meal.”

According to the policy, efforts made by the school district to “recover money owed due to the charging of meals must not have a negative impact on the students, and should focus solely on adults in the household.”

Drug and alcohol use and possession

The recently approved Drug and Alcohol Use and Possession policy ( No. 4118.231 ) is a revision of an existing district policy, formerly titled “Use of Tobacco on School Property.”

The new policy prohibits the use and possession of alcohol, drugs and tobacco products on school property and while engaged in school-related activities, including those off school grounds. Failure to comply “may result in disciplinary actions,” according to the policy.

When it comes to alcohol and drug possession, employees must  notify their supervisor of any conviction for any criminal drug violation occurring in the workplace within five days. Those who violate the policy may be required to undergo rehabilitation or may be faced with suspension or firing.

The prohibition of tobacco on school grounds applies to students, staff, employees, visitors and guests. Tobacco products include “cigarettes, cigars, blunts, bidis, pipes, chewing tobacco, and all other forms of smokeless tobacco,” as well as “electronic nicotine-delivery devices and vapor devices.”

Drug-free workplace

The district’s new Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug-Free Workplace policy ( No. 4118.232 ) prohibits school district employees from “the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of an illegal drug, controlled substance or alcohol,” and from being “under the influence of such substances while on school property or while conducting board business on or off school property.”

In accordance with state law, the policy also specifically prohibits the palliative use of marijuana on school property, at school-sponsored activities, or “during the conduct of board business.”

Employees convicted of a criminal offense while using a banned substance on “board business” must report that conviction and may face disciplinary actions, “up to and including possible termination of employment.”

Testing for bus drivers

According to the fourth policy — Drug and Alcohol Testing for Bus Drivers ( No. 4212.42 ) — bus service contractors must establish and enforce a drug- and alcohol-testing program that complies with federal and state mandates and the district’s policy. Test results must be made available to the school district.