Columbiana may extend drug policy

COLUMBIANA – The Columbiana School District is looking at a new drug policy for athletics.

The district currently has an in-season policy and Superintendent Don Mook said the new policy is for out-of-season use.

It has already gone through the athletic council and met the approval of athletic director Erin Heasley, and Mook said head football coach Bob Spaite has agreed to discipline anyone found violating the policy out-of-season.

Under the policy the first offense would result in 10 percent denial of participation for athletic contests that fall within a one-year period from the time of the offense.

The student would also be required to attend a minimum of three controlled substance counseling sessions through an agency approved by the administration, with each session documented by the athletic director.

The second offense would result in following the in-season consequences, beginning at the first level and onward, regardless of the time of the occurrence.

The in-season consequences are similar to out of season with the exception of 20 percent denial of participation for a first offense. The second offense results in three substance controlled classes and one year denial of participation for all activities.

The third offense for both in and out of season is total denial of participation for the remainder of the school year.

Heasley said the council wanted a new policy because the district did not have one for out of season use, and not because there were any issues with athletes.

Students violate the policy if they are found in possession, handling, transmitting, concealing or using alcohol, illegal drugs, look-a-like drugs and/or steroids.

At its recent meeting, school board member Mark Hutson asked who would pay for the substance counseling program.

Mook said the ADAPT Coalition would work with the district and if cost is a hindrance in-house counselors could be used.

ADAPT is Columbiana County alcohol drug abuse prevention program offered through the Family Recovery Center.

The new policy has not been presented to the board for a vote yet.