Today I had the experience of chairing an Education subcommittee for House Study Bill 17. Basically, this bill makes it mandatory for reporting of licensed school employees who are under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal drugs, unauthorized drugs, or alcohol on or at a school activity. This must be reported by different school officials, including superintendents to the Board of Educational Examiners.

There were a few groups registered in support of this bill, none against it and multiple that were undecided. After the meeting, it seemed we had come together on an agreement in referring this bill to the Education Committee with one change: specifying what “unauthorized drugs” meant. We will add the definition to this bill as an amendment and allow it to move to its next phase. I think it’s important to send the message that being under the influence of drugs or alcohol on school premises or at a school activity sets a bad example for students and should not be tolerated and needs to be reported.

Overall, it was a great first experience and I’m thankful to Representatives Hager and Gaines for their help with this. It passed 3-0!