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Chatham County school drug offenses bring new consequences

Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - In an effort to reduce the number of alcohol and other drug offenses by students, the Chatham County Board of Education has enacted more strict consequences for students who violate the Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

“While the number of students who violated the school district’s alcohol and other drug policy was reduced slightly this year, we need to send a clear message to students that the possession and use of those substances will not be tolerated in our schools,” said George Greger-Holt, Director of Student Services.

The Drugs and Alcohol Policy was first enacted in 1998 and has been revised three times prior to the current version. While opportunity for students to receive help with their alcohol and other drug concerns remains the cornerstone of the policy, additional consequences have been added to help students more carefully consider their choices.

Students who commit a first offense will continue to receive an eight-day suspension. That suspension can be reduced to five days if the student and a family member or guardian agree to attend a substance abuse assessment from a local substance abuse treatment agency. Chatham County Schools funds this initial assessment. When students return to school, Student Assistance Instructors will continue to help them learn about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use.

The revised policy, crafted by a group of coaches and school administrators and passed by the Board of Education on June 7, 2010, adds additional consequences. According to the policy, students will also “lose on-campus parking privileges for a period of ninety (90) school days. Students involved in extracurricular activities will be suspended from participation for a minimum of thirty (30) school days, the remainder of the particular sport season, or the period of time designated by the bylaws of the recognized state or national organization, whichever is greater. Suspension of parking privileges and extracurricular activities will carry over from one school year to another until the term of the consequences has been satisfied. All consequences start at the time of suspension from school.”

Consequences for second offense are increased as well. For further information on the Drugs and Alcohol policy (Policy Code 4325), please refer to the Board of Education page on the Chatham County Schools website or the 2010 Parent/Student Handbook, which will be distributed to all students at the beginning of school.

“Our hope is that students will consider these consequences and make more positive decisions,” concluded Greger-Holt.

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Chatham County school drug offenses bring new consequences
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