Student-athletes who are caught at school with alcohol or illegal drugs will be out of the game for the rest of the season, under tighterdrug and alcohol penalties adopted by the school board Thursday.
The board's extension of the ban on extracurricular activities for students caught with alcohol or illegal drugs at school comes after a controversial September 1990 incident. Four soccer players were suspended from team play for 30 days after being caught with alcohol at a school dance.
Some critics felt the policy was too lenient, said former Glenelgprincipal Walter Caldwell, who chaired the committee that drafted the revision. "If we make the penalty a little harder, maybe we'll get some students' attention," he said.
For a first offense, the revised policy extends the ban from a maximum of 30 days to the remainder of the grading period in which the incident occurs and the next grading period.
The suspension from extracurricular activities is in addition to a mandatory 5-to-30-day suspension from school for studentscaught with alcohol or drugs for the first time. The suspension rises to at least 10 days for a second offense. A student guilty of a third offense can be expelled.
Caldwell explained that if a football player violates the policy for the first time during the fall quarter, for example, he will sit out the rest of the football season and the basketball season. He would be eligible to play spring sports.
If the player violates the policy a second time, he would be suspendedfor the rest of the current semester and the next semester, causing him to miss nearly a year of school sports.
In separate action, the board gave a break to students who take summer school classes to try to bring up their grades so they will be eligible for fall sports or other extracurricular activities.
The board changed the procedure for calculating summer school grades in a student's grade-point average, making it easier for a student to wipe out a bad grade by repeating the subject in summer school.
The board approved the substitution of the student's summer school grade for the grade he received during the spring semester. For example, a student who failed English during the spring and earned an A in summer school would receive an Afor the course.