Substance-abuse policy revisited in Carroll
The Carroll County school board approved several changes to the system’s substance-abuse policy last night, specifically dealing with sanctions involving extracurricular activities.
Now when students are caught on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event with a “dangerous substance” – drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. – they will be placed on “restricted eligibility,” as opposed to being effectively banished from their extracurricular activities during that time.
That means students caught will still be permitted to associate with their clubs and other school organizations during the sanction period. The revised policy allows them to attend practices/games/performances, travel and sit with their teams and even wear uniforms – but not actually play or perform.
The revisions also tackled the district’s policy on “constructive possession,” which holds students responsible for non-school-related/off-campus situations and locations where controlled/illegal substances are present.
Director of student services Dana Falls said the “vast majority” of comments from the public on the matter “indicated that it’s time to let those go away.”
School officials say the revisions “reflect a desire to effect positive changes in decision making for students” – allowing them to maintain their relationships with their coaches and teammates – instead of punishing them for poor choices. Some parents also told school officials that coaches are often some of the best people to steer kids in the right direction after such an incident, Falls said.
What do you think? Is this a positive reinforcement for bad/illegal behavior? What policies do other school systems have in such situations?