Members of the Halifax County School Board will hear a report on interscholastic program random drug testing when they meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the public meeting room at the Mary Bethune Complex.
According to the Virginia Department of Education, schools may “in its discretion require or encourage drug testing in accordance with the Board of Education’s guidelines.”
These guidelines came about following many cases in which schools drug tested students including Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton when the United States Supreme Court upheld a school division’s random drug testing of student athletes.
It was upheld “because it was narrowly tailored to protect students who choose to play sports, and the ‘role model’ effect of student athletes’ drug use is important in deterring drug use among children.”
Most recently in 2002, another school district chose to require all middle and high school students to be drug tested in order to participate in any extracurricular activity.
At Halifax County High School, the current code of conduct restricts any type of possession, consumption or delivery of any type of alcohol or drugs.
It also states if a student is suspected of being under the influence, the student may be required to submit to a lab testing at the cost of the parent.
The code of conduct for athletics also states all participants will abide by laws relative to drugs, tobacco, theft and other criminal acts.
Participants charged for an illegal act will be suspended from the activity until a hearing is held and verdict is reached, and if it’s a felony, they will be permanently dismissed from all activities.
If a participant is convicted of a misdemeanor, they will be dismissed from all activities as well.
During Monday’s meeting, Director of Student Services and Accountability Jeff Davis is slated to give the report on drug testing.
The board also plans to discuss a graded pay scale after reviewing a budget update at their monthly meeting.
At a recent budget work session, board members mulled a 2020 proposed budget deficit of $1,632,422.
They also included $1,732,422 in the draft budget for a 4 percent raise plus a step increase for teachers and a 5 percent salary increase for non-teaching staff.
Halifax County Board of Supervisors said at their Monday meeting they are proposing funding $13,825,000 to Halifax County Public Schools, based on supervisors’ target of 120 percent of local required effort.
“Based upon the current composite index and total expected enrollment of 4,465 students, Halifax County is required to contribute $11,523,674 to the school system in 2020,” Halifax County Finance Director Stephanie Jackson said in her budget presentation.
That represents a decrease in the county contribution to the schools of $425,077 from last year.
The school board also anticipates having further information on state funding.
At their last budget meeting, board members were told the state share is estimated to total $35,758,650, which is based off an ADM, or average daily membership, of 4,465, but it could change.
Board members also are expected to review a school security officer position as well as hear an update from Principal Michael Lewis concerning implementation of daily use of metal detectors at the school as well as a security system that monitors all exterior doors and other security and safety protocol.
In other reports, Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg is slated to give updates on the high school as well as school population trends.
During recognitions, Lewis is expected to recognize the high school indoor track team and the high school boys varsity basketball team.
Lineburg is slated to recognize the VSBA 2019 Business Honor Roll recipients.
Cluster Springs Elementary School students are expected to give a student learning spotlight.
Four individuals -- Becky Martin, Kathy Fraley, Phyllis Smith and Tiffany Stolzenthaler -- have signed up to speak during citizen comments.
At the conclusion of the meeting, board members are slated to go into closed meeting to discuss personnel matters.