Pubdate: Tue, 08 Oct 2002
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Decatur Daily
Author: Deangelo McDaniel


HARTSELLE - The Hartselle Board of Education will eliminate the section of 
its drug-testing policy that gives coaches and sponsors the authority to 
punish for positive drug tests.

Superintendent Lee Hartsell said Monday that coaches and sponsors would not 
be able to impose penalties beyond what the policy outlines.

School attorney Bill Shinn of Decatur recommended that the board remove the 
section. He said punishment should be the same for every student.

The board will also amend the policy to allow the school system to issue 
double punishment for students who commit tobacco and alcohol violations 
under the code of conduct.

If a baseball player, for example, is caught with a pack of cigarettes in 
school in January, he will be required to serve the punishment called for 
in the code, and the school system will suspend him from several baseball 
games in the spring.

Hartsell said the school system began baseline drug testing this month.

Hartselle has the broadest drug-testing program in the area. The school 
system will test middle and high school students who participate in 
extracurricular activities.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June cleared the way for Hartselle's broad policy.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that testing students who participate in 
extracurricular activities is a "reasonable effective means of addressing 
the school district's legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring and 
detecting drug use."
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