Madison School Board Reviews Comprehensive Drug Policy - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Madison School Board Reviews Comprehensive Drug Policy

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Madison County High School Madison County High School

The Madison County School Board is reviewing its first sweeping drug policy. Students caught with drugs or under the influence in school would face penalties - and the policy is harsher for mountaineer athletes.

The proposed drug policy punishes students with suspension and lays out a set of procedures to get students help to get clean.

The school board is reviewing its first comprehensive drug policy. Athletes from sixth grade up would sign a drug-free pledge and face random testing each season.

"People look up to us because we're athletes," said junior Austin Kelliher, who plays golf and baseball for the high school. "So we have to carry ourselves around the school grounds and show we're good kids, honest, have integrity."

That's why student athletes could be subject to the toughest drug policy on campus.

"We're not going to tolerate it. It's going to be harmful to your performance both academically and athletically," said Madison County High School Principal Mike Sisler.

Superintendent Matthew Eberhardt said, "Twenty percent are going to be tested. It will be private, it will be confidential. We're hoping to prove that kids are healthy and drug-free."

Any student caught with drugs or under the influence during school would be suspended for 10 days and directed into a student assistance program to help them stop using.

"Suspensions aren't going to get a kid off drugs," Eberhardt said. "We know that. It's not meant to be punitive; it's meant to be assistive - to get kids off drugs. It's the healthy thing."

Athletes who fail to comply with the drug policy would be suspended from sports for 365 days.

The school board is expected to vote on the policy at its meeting October 14.

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