ST. JOHN — A revised code of conduct for student-athletes and others involved in competitive extracurricular activities at Lake Central High School sets a two-strike policy for those caught with drugs and a three-strike policy on alcohol and tobacco use.
Lake Central Athletic Director Chris Enyeart presented the revised policy at a recent School Board meeting, saying it was the result of the annual review of the existing code by a committee made up of coaches, parents/stakeholders and himself. It takes effect with the coming school year.
“We continually review and adjust our procedures and policies,” Enyear said. “We will monitor this as we see how students are affected and how our peers are dealing with these issues.”
Enyeart said the committee looked at the policies of school districts around the Region and throughout the state.
“Due to the influx of minors using the electronic tobacco devices, the committee determined, while there should be consequences for an individual’s actions, we should be proactive in educating the student-athletes,” he said. “With this advice, it was determined that, beginning with the 2019-20 school year, we will provide students with an education component and learning opportunity weekly for those who violate the code of conduct for a tobacco or alcohol offense.”
The policy calls for anyone “arrested for, testing positive or possessing, using, consuming or under the influence of a controlled substance or in possession of paraphernalia” to be expelled from all extracurricular activities for a year on the first offense. That will be cut in half of the current or next participating season if the student completes a substance abuse program with a licensed professional and completes 12 hours of community service in the schools. A second offense means permanent expulsion from extracurricular activities.
A student “possessing, using, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol” faces a two-game suspension on the first offense and enrollment in an education program offered by the high school. A second offense is the same as the first offense for drugs and the third offense is the permanent expulsion from extracurricular activities.
For possessing or using tobacco or the electronic equivalent, it is a one-game suspension and enrollment in the educational program. The second offense is a 50% suspension from the current season or next participating season, enrollment in the educational program, referral to a counselor and completion of the 12 hours of service. The third time means permanent expulsion from the extracurricular activities.
There are provisions for appealing a suspension, and any cost of seeing the licensed professional is to be borne by the student or the parents/guardians.
Lake Central board member Sandy Lessentine said expulsion from the team for a first offense might mean the student would never go back or that having students perform school service would make it obvious that a student was serving a penalty. Enyeart said the service would not be seen by the rest of the student body.
Lessentine also was concerned the requirement they undergo professional counseling outside the school would mean only the wealthy students would be able to get the help. She asked that the school look into services the students could receive that did not cost anything.