District to update medicine administration policy to include medical marijuana

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 9/26/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County School District is preparing to update its policy governing how medicine is administered to students to including medical marijuana.

The policy change is …

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District to update medicine administration policy to include medical marijuana

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County School District is preparing to update its policy governing how medicine is administered to students to including medical marijuana.

The policy change is one of many requirements governing bodies, such as county commissions and city council were forced to pass as part of the Legislature’s bill governing medical marijuana, which was approved by Florida voters in 2016.

After months of review and legal research, the school district drafted a policy it will consider approving at the Oct. 4 meeting. Board members discussed the policy Tuesday morning at the superintendent’s monthly agenda-setting workshop held in Green Cove Springs at district offices.

As drafted, the policy requires medical marijuana – should a student be approved for the drug – be dispensed in either an oil, a patch or an edible.

“In 2017, we were asked to revise our policy,” said Clay County School District Superintendent Addison Davis. “[Clay County School Board Attorney David D’Agata] and staff has worked with a number of school districts throughout the state to make sure we have a clean procedure policy that addresses [medical marijuana] in a conventional and careful manner. We have to permit the use of medical marijuana, however, we will not maintain, we will not store and we will not administer medical marijuana at any point in time.”

Instead, school medical staff will ensure that schools identify a safe location for the user to be administered the medicinal marijuana. The administrator must be validated by the state-given registered card. D’Agata jumped into the conversation to clear up some school board questions regarding students and medical marijuana and said students will not be able to self-administer at any point.

“The policy is for students who require administration from others,” D’Agata said.

In other workshop business, School Board Member Betsy Condon asked that Davis and staff examine student transportation to extracurricular activities, or lack thereof. According to Condon, a few years ago, the school board enacted a policy that prevented students from transporting themselves from school-sanctioned activities, and instead, required students to use district transportation, such as buses.

“Where we are today is, if they can’t get a bus for whatever reason, the students are, ‘told get yourself to the game’,” Condon said. “I have watched five teenagers pile into an SUV with a 16-year-old driver...I just everyday pray that there’s not a tragedy in this county that causes us to change our policy.”

Davis, who like Condon admitted that this problem has been around for a number of years, said that last year, his staff directed school administration to utilize third-party vendors sanctioned by the school district to transport students if needed. According to Davis however, these administrators aren’t using these other vendors because of the cost.

“Coaches and athletic directors have to do a better job making certain, and we can make certain they do it, that they take one of the options we gave them,” Davis said.

Davis told Condon that he and district staff would speak once again with athletic directors across the county to ensure that not only are they aware of this solution, but they are actively using it in situations where district transportation is unavailable for every student.

The school board’s monthly meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Teacher Training Center at Fleming Island High.

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