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Salem drug testing program at a glance

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Among the regulations of the Salem City Schools student drug testing program are:

• A third-party vendor selected by the school division administers the program. (A local company was awarded the contract to conduct testing.)

• Students are randomly selected for testing, and their names and/other personally identifiable information remain confidential. Participants are encouraged to protect their own confidentiality.

“In the event that a coach, sponsor, or other school staff has reasonable suspicion to believe that a member of a team or extracurricular activity has been using drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, he/she will provide (notify) the Pledge Program Committee composed of the principal or his designee, the athletic director, and the Pledge Program coordinator.

“The Pledge Program Committee will meet with the player to further investigate the suspected use. If the committee believes there is reasonable suspicion of the use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, the program coordinator will contact the student’s parents to inform them that the student will be required to submit to a drug screen ....”

• The program coordinator coordinates the collection of urine specimens of randomly selected students in accordance with federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) standards and forwards the specimens to a licensed laboratory for testing.

• There is an appeal procedure for a student or his/her parent/guardian to request a retest at his expense of his specimen at a laboratory of the family’s choice that follows SAMHSA standards. The student will be ineligible to participate during the appeal.

• Consequences will result from a confirmed positive test for alcohol, tobacco, or illegal or synthetic drugs; refusal to participate in testing when selected; and/or tampering with the specimen collection process. Any attempt by a student to tamper with the specimen collection process or refusal to provide a sample will be treated as a resignation from extracurricular activities for 365 days except in cases where a positive sample would constitute a third violation, in which case the student will be banned from further participation for the remainder of his/her enrollment in the school division.

Consequences for a confirmed positive test result include:

First offense: a minimum 14 calendar day suspension from participation, completion of any recommended intervention program, must have a clean urine test before reinstatement and must agree to regular testing for the remainder of the activity season.

Second offense: a minimum 84 calendar day suspension, completion of any recommended intervention program, must agree to regular testing during the suspension and the rest of the activity season, and must have a clean urine test before reinstatement.

Third offense: suspension from any further athletic and/or extracurricular participation while enrolled in the school division.

• All tests and initial intervention sessions are funded by the school division. If further treatment is recommended based on the initial evaluation, the costs of the treatment is the responsibility of the parents.

• VHSL-sanctioned extracurricular activities are those that are governed by the regulations established by the Virginia High School League for which students compete for a VHSL championship. At Salem High School, this includes forensics, Scholastic Bowl, debate and theater. Even though they have a competitive component, band and choir are not included because they are co-curricular, meaning they are credit-bearing classes that can be used to meet graduation requirements.

• Records of testing and subsequent actions are kept confidential. Records are destroyed when a student no longer has remaining eligibility to participate in VHSL activities.

• The program coordinator will not release records of drug and alcohol tests or any resulting action to anyone other than designated school personnel and the student and/or his or her parent/guardian without written authorization from the student and/or parent/guardian. Student drug/alcohol/tobacco testing information will not be turned over to any law enforcement authorities except under circumstances in which the division is legally compelled to surrender or disclose such test results.

For the full regulations of the program and frequently asked questions, go to


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