The Leon County school district is defining and defending its drug testing policies after a high school teacher was accused of trying to smuggle pot through an airport security checkpoint.
When it comes to testing for drugs in Leon County schools there are two groups to consider. The first is teachers, and the second is those who perform safety sensitive roles, and the policy is different for each group.
Leon County teacher Peter MacWilliams is accused of pirating pot through airport security in a film canister, a charge that's brought into focus the issue of teachers and drug testing.
The first involves bus drivers and heavy equipment operators. The federal government requires random drug screenings for all these employees, but the bulk of the county employees, including teachers, are subject to reasonable suspicion testing.
When a teacher tests positive he or she is given the opportunity to attend rehab and continue working in the classroom.
In a case where law enforcement is involved, the district gathers the facts and works with authorities to determine the discipline. That discipline could be suspension, termination. The teacher is also referred to the department of education's professional practices services which reviews his teaching.
When a teacher is suspected of using drugs or alcohol, the school's site administration makes the decision to drug test.