Cumberland Times-News

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April 4, 2013

Mineral County drug policy may include middle school students

KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Board of Education’s student drug policy is being amended and may require any middle school student who participates in high school preseason conditioning to be enrolled in the drug-testing program.

The policy is out for public comment and if the board decides there are no further revisions needed, it will likely recommend the approval of the policy during the April 16 meeting, according to Rob Woy, superintendent of schools.

“We reviewed the policy last year and made changes based on recommendations,” said Woy. “We are trying to review the policy periodically and make revisions to make the policy better. It’s something we feel we should do.”

The policy, which has been in place since the 2009-2010 school year, is for students who drive privately-owned vehicles to school, participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities and for those whose parents choose to enroll them in the random drug-testing process. A parent or guardian can opt in any student to the program as long as they are younger than 18 and in grades six through 12, according to the policy. 

Another amendment includes an addition to the section pertaining to opting out of the program. This would allow students to opt out by providing the principal with a written statement from their parent or guardian or by providing a written request once they turn 18. Students who opt out are not permitted to participate in extracurricular, co-curricular or driving activities until the next enrollment cycle on Sept. 1.

The policy was discussed during the board meeting Tuesday and also during a special work session in March. During the March meeting, Woy indicated that only four students had failed the random drug test, three from Frankfort High School and one from Keyser High School. One was an athlete and the remainder were driving students.

Last year, a total of eight students from both schools failed the drug test, according to Woy.

The testing, which is done monthly on a random basis, checks for illegal drugs, including alcohol and performance-enhancing drugs.

Any written comments on the policy should be submitted to Woy at rwoy@access.k12.wv.us.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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