BCSC considers medication policy

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. officials are considering updating the district’s medication policy to include a section on “low THC hemp extract.”

Superintendent Jim Roberts presented the first reading of the update to board policy 5330 to school board members June 13. The addition details rules and regulations regarding the use of low THC hemp extract as a prescribed medication for a student.

The proposed addition states that, under Indiana law, low THC hemp extract is defined as “a product that is (1) derived from Cannabis sativa L. that meets the definition of industrial hemp; (2) that contains not more than 0.3% delta-9-THC (including precursors); and (3) that contains no other controlled substances.”

The policy update was just discussed at the school board’s June 13 meeting and the school board has not yet voted on the change. The board’s next meeting is set for July 18.

“As we move into the school year, we’ve had to work through a variety of things,” said Roberts. “And as things change and laws change and so forth, we have to be prepared for those changes.”

This particular change adds wording from Indiana Code 24-4-21, which outlines the state’s regulations for distribution of low THC hemp extract.

Under the proposed update, certain conditions would have to be met in order for school personnel to administer prescribed low THC hemp extract medication or treatment to a student. These include written permission from a parent/guardian; that the product must be kept in its original container, unopened and labeled with the student’s name; a prescription from a health care provider; and that the product abides by federal and/or state standards.

Schools will not be allowed to administer a dosage that differs from the student’s prescription.

“We needed to have some policies, some direction, and just make sure if that low THC hemp extract item or product is brought into the school as a prescription from a medical practitioner, then we have a process for administering that,” said Roberts. “It’s not something the student could just hold on to and do. We really don’t have any medications that are done, self-administered, necessarily. So it ends up in the nurse’s office, the nurse is the one for any administration of that.”

The proposed section does not include any information on self-administration of low THC hemp extract. However, existing board policy states that a student is only allowed to possess and self-administer medication if he/she has a chronic disease or medical condition and has provided authorization from both a parent and physician. The physician’s statement must include information on the condition or disease, verification that the student has received instruction on self-administration, and verification that the disease or condition requires emergency administration of the medication.

In a broader sense, board policy states that the administration of prescribed medication or treatment to a student is only allowed during school hours if “failure to do so would jeopardize the health of the student, the student would not be able to attend school if the medication or treatment were not made available during school hours, or the child has a disability and requires medication to benefit from his/her educational program.”