The Toms River Regional school board approved two new policies last week, one allowing for the use of medical marijuana by students, and another setting forth more strict regulations on school visitors.
On second reading, the Board of Education formally adopted a policy which will allow students to use medical marijuana at school, on school buses and at school-sponsored events under certain conditions. The policy is a result of a state law passed in 2015 that requires all school districts to formulate a medical marijuana policy.
According to the policy, which was introduced in December, both the student and parent or primary caregiver must be authorized by the state Department of Health, respectively, to take and administer medical marijuana. Parents wishing to administer marijuana to their children would be required to notify the school principal, who will consult with the school nurse, physician and superintendent before providing written approval with the parameters under which the substance will be used.
Marijuana can, under the policy, be administered on school grounds, on a school bus or during school-sponsored activities. The policy calls a parent to remain in possession of the drug except when physically administering it to their child.
“The primary caregiver shall comply with the requirements of the principal’s written approval,” the policy states.
The policy was approved by the board unanimously with no public comment. At its introduction, one parent spoke about the policy, advocating in favor of it.
The board also adopted a school visitor policy at its Jan. 18 meeting.
Visitors – defined as anyone other than staff or students – must sign in at the front office of the school building they wish to visit, the policy states, and each school principal must maintain a log book recording all visitors. All visitors must wear a district-issues visitor identification badge while on school property.
A change in the policy has to do with guests invited to the school by teachers. The policy calls for these guest speakers to be pre-approved by the building principal and signed in to the logbook as any other visitor would.