One Word Would Strengthen Drug Policy

 

Student athletes in Botetourt County might find it harder to do an end-run on the substance abuse policy.

Superintendent Tony Brads is asking the school board to insert one word in three places to thestudent/athlete substance abuse policy to block, say, a troubled football player from taking up track, a sport he had no previous interest in, just so he can avoid being benched during football season.

The policy prescribes a corrective course for students who are found to be using illegal drugs or alcohol. Part of it calls for suspending the athlete for a certain number of contests. And if there aren’t enough games left in the season, the policy calls for the penalty to carry through to “the next sport season in which the student athlete participates within 365 calendar days.”

Brads wants to add the word “normally” between “athlete” and “participates.”

“We don’t want to discourage someone from trying new sports,” he said, but in a few instances an athlete has picked up an additional sport just to serve the penalty.

“It’s been figured out how not to be affected in a main sport,” he said.

Botetourt County has one of the most aggressive policies governing substance use on and off campus, he said. The board, whose members include the coordinator of the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition, seemed inclined to support Brads’ request.

The county school board next meets at 6:30 Thursday at the School Board Office, 143 Poor Farm Road, Fincastle. The agenda was not available by late Friday afternoon.

This article was republished with permission from the author, Brian Kelley. The original article was published in The Roanoke Times and can be viewed by clicking here.

 

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