Concerns Over Albemarle School Policy

March 26, 2007

The non-profit civil liberties organization The Rutherford Institute says they have concerns over an Albemarle County school policy.

The policy requires parents of high school student athletes to inform school officials if their child violates a pledge to abstain from alcohol, drugs and tobacco during the sports season.

The Institute is asking the Albemarle County Board of Education to change the policy so that it doesn't infringe on parents' or students' rights.

"While we support the spirit of this effort to discourage underage drinking and drug use, any effort to combat it must be done within a constitutional framework,” said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute.

Following an alcohol-related auto accident that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old Albemarle High School lacrosse player last year, school officials revised the county’s Athletic Training Rule to require student athletes to sign a pledge that during the student’s athletic season he or she will not use tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs.

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