Carroll County tweaks policy on drugs, alcohol – WBAL Baltimore

Carroll County is about to make a change to its student drug-and-alcohol policy that would give school administrations more flexibility in making disciplinary decisions.

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PDF: Administrative Regulations for Board Policy JPA Substance Abuse

PDF: Revisions to Board Policy JPA Substance Abuse

Top Carroll County school officials said the policy change is due in part to concerns raised by parents.

Carroll County’s drug-and-alcohol policy is among the toughest in the state. Administrators said they want to keep it that way for its more than 25,000 students. But they also want to give school principals the power to make on-the-spot decisions, especially when deciding whether to call police in cases where students are caught with alcohol on campus.

Dana Falls, who’s in charge of student services for the district, said it all comes down to one word: replacing the word “will” with “may” when it comes to calling authorities.

“We put a committee together with the state’s attorney and the sheriff’s department, even some of our substance-abuse counseling providers, and we put our heads together and looked at how we could better clarify that,” Falls said. “Alcohol is not an illegal substance, it’s unlawful for a juvenile to have alcohol.”

There’s plenty of reaction to the drug-and-alcohol policy changes coming from parents and county residents.

“On alcohol, they should be given a chance with the principal. I mean, if it’s an otherwise really good kid, why would you get the police involved in something like that right away?” asked Tim Cole, a Carroll County resident.

But some residents believe the school system should leave well enough alone.

“I don’t like that at all, no, because if my kid is getting alcohol, somebody is supplying it to them, so I think

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