AVON PARK – The South Florida State College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a policy authorizing the development of a substance abuse testing program, which could allow random drug testing of any student in any program.
SFSC President Thomas Leitzel noted on the agenda that the policy provides awareness and approval for substance abuse testing of student athletes and students in academic programs which require drug/alcohol testing.
At Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Leitzel said the policy contains the language that the board discussed in its meetings last year.
“The rational is to truly maintain sound risk management policies and you will remember we removed a statement in here, which allows more flexibility for the college to implement the procedures that will uphold the policy for substance abuse testing,” he said.
Board of Trustees Member Kris Rider asked if the students in the criminal justice program would be subject to the testing program, “either under suspicion or as a matter of fact or always being screened because they are handling firearms.”
Leitzel replied not as a matter of admission.
“But, this policy, if deemed appropriate by the administration, could allow random drug testing of any student in any program,” he said.
Dean of Applied Sciences and Technologies Division Kevin Brown said the college does not require drug testing for entry into any programs. Most of the programs that require drug screening are the ones where students participate in clinical activities through the college’s affiliation agreements with the hospitals.
“But, this [policy] does give you the flexibility to do that and could be something we could do in the future if we needed to,” he said.
The policy states that the college president is authorized to develop administrative procedures to provide for substance abuse testing of student athletes and students in specialized programs. These procedures will include provisions for notification, exceptions, testing, chain of custody provisions, disciplinary consequences, complaint procedures and enforcement.