At last week’s Board of Education meeting at the Washington Administration Building, there was a discussion over revisions to multiple sections of the Board of Education Policy Guide.
Of note, some of last school year’s changes to the Student Activity Drug Testing Policy, revised in March and effective in July, has been updated again. Assistant Superintendent Johnny Bilby and Athletic Director Michael Rose explained that they have to delete the section that disallows all students involved from having a medical marijuana card.
Rose said that as they conducted their annual initial summer drug test and follow-ups, they found that they have a few students who have already obtained their medical marijuana cards, with the consent of a parent and doctor. In these situations, the student and parents have followed the proper procedures medically and legally, and the parents were adamant that medical marijuana was the last treatment option for their child’s situation.
Bilby contacted at least two experienced attorneys from relevant entities for their opinion on the issue, and in a complete reversal of advice they gave a few months ago, both strongly advised him that SPS would be opening itself to litigation should it forbid students with legitimate medical conditions from receiving treatment that is legal according to state law.
To be clear, it is still against school policy for any student to use, sell, be under the influence of, or be in possession of marijuana on school premises or at school-related activities. However, if a student who has a legal medical marijuana card were to fail a school drug test, they can no longer be penalized.