The Board of Education recognizes that the problem of illegal drug and alcohol use presents a continuing challenge in its schools and a clear danger to the pupil population as a whole. The district’s commitment to maintaining athletics, co-curricular activities and parking in a safe and secure environment requires a clear policy and supportive programs relating to the deterrence of substance use by pupils involved in athletics and co-curricular activities.

Participation in athletics, co-curricular activities and parking on campus is a privilege. Pupil participants, by virtue of their voluntary decision to participate in these co-curricular and athletic activities, and because of their position as school leaders and role models in the school community, have a heightened responsibility to be drug and alcohol free. The district is committed to being proactive in ensuring the safety of all pupils participating in athletics, co-curricular activities and parking.

Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling,

Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County et al v. Earls et al., 536 U.S. 822 (2002) and the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in Joye v. Hunterdon Central Regional School Board of Education, 176 N.J. 568 (2003), the Board of Education directs the Chief School Administrator to implement and conduct a program of random drug testing of pupil participants in athletics, co-curricular activities, pupils granted parking permits for on-campus parking, pupils who have violated the district substance abuse policy, and pupils who voluntarily elect to participate in the program with parental consent. Eligibility shall apply to the entire academic year. The Principal or his/her designee shall oversee the policy and procedure. Design of the program shall be consistent with the Board of Education’s objectives, which are as follows:

Promote safety;
Deter drug use, thereby countering peer pressure which may encourage indulgence;
Promote an orderly learning environment; and
Encourage and invite voluntary testing.

Primary emphasis in administering this program shall be directed toward deterrence and remediation rather than punishment of pupils who test positive for alcohol, non-prescribe medications, illegal drugs or their metabolites. Sanctions and corrective action shall be designed accordingly. This policy and its implementing regulations shall be made available annually, at the beginning of the school year, to all school employees, pupils and parent(s) or legal guardian(s). This policy is NOT intended to be disciplinary or punitive in nature. No pupil shall be suspended or expelled from school as a sole result of any verified positive test conducted by the school under the Random Drug Testing Program.

The policy shall apply to all Vernon Township School District students in grades 9 – 12 who participate in any athletics, co-curricular activities, or who possess an on-campus parking permit.

Definitions:

Drugs – All controlled substances designated and prohibited as stated in the Board’s Substance Abuse Policy 5530 and N.J.S.A. 23:21-2, N.J.S.A. 2A:170-25.9, N.J.S.A. 2C:35.2. For the purpose of this policy, a drug includes, but is not limited to: alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, MDMA (a/k/a Ecstasy), methadone, methamphetamine, opiates, oxycodone, PCP, anabolic steroids, tricyclic anti-depressants or any other substance which is defined as a controlled substance by New Jersey law or their metabolites.

Alcoholic Beverages – includes beer, wine, distilled liquors, and any other liquid containing alcohol.

Medications – All medications, including over the counter drugs, must be properly registered with the school nurse. N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.4

Activities – Any extra-curricular activities not required by the Board of Education for graduation.

Non-negative – A drug screen that indicates the presence of metabolites and needs to be sent to the laboratory for confirmatory testing.

Confirmed Positive – A positive result from confirmatory testing at the laboratory.

Adopted: December 08