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HHS students disciplined for drug policy violations

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Three Hartselle High School students were disciplined Thursday, Jan. 31, for violating the school’s drug-testing policy and campus-free drug policy.
Punishment for the students, all members of the baseball team, consisted of five days of suspension from school pending a hearing, 20 days in alternative school, suspension for the first six playing dates of the baseball season or participation in any other extracurricular activity and mandatory drug counseling.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Read said he ordered the punishment following a disciplinary hearing at his office Thursday morning. Among those present at the hearing were the students, their parents and HHS Principal Jerry Reeves.
The drug-testing policy makes provision for an appeal to the school board within five days of the initial hearing. However, Dr. Reed said he does not expect one to be requested in this case. All three of the students attended alternative school on Friday.
The degree of punishment was the stiffest provided for under a 2002 drug-testing policy; however, the school’s drug-free policy on campus makes provision for expulsion in cases where illegal drugs are found in the possession of a student.
In this case, two of the three students were found in possession of a prescription medication, for which they had no prescription, during a search conducted by the principal. One of the students also tested positive for the drug, after all 54 members of the baseball team were tested. Positive results came back on four other tests. Three of them were related to students who were taking medications prescribed by their family physician and the other one showed only a trace reading of a substance that couldn’t be identified.
Reed said the school provides drug counseling under contra ct with an outside agency.
The length of the counseling period is determined by the counselor.
He added, “The message I want to come out of this incident is that our schools are here for the kids and it is our responsibility to provide them with .a drug-free learning environment. When a student violates a school policy, it will be followed to the letter of the law.”

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