Board of Education: 788 Policy aims to prevent "medical marijuana overdose"

by Jordan Green

The Blackwell Board of Education has approved a policy strictly prohibiting the use of medical marijuana on school campuses.

Schools and communities across Oklahoma are racing to change their policies to mesh with State Question 788, the state question passed in June that permits those who obtain a proper state-issued license to use medical marijuana. However, those who attempt to use medical marijuana on school property in Blackwell could face jail time, according to the policy adopted by the board in its meeting Monday.

Under the policy, it will be illegal for parents to give their children medical marijuana on school property. A parent will have to remove his or her child from school grounds in order to administer it.

The board adopted the policy as a means of protecting the school district from the legal fallout that could result from the improper use of medical marijuana. If a parent gave his or her child medical marijuana on school grounds and the child were harmed as a result, board members said, the school district could potentially face a legal challenge from the parent. Board members’ prime concern with allowing parents to give their children marijuana on school grounds was that a parent may accidentally overdose his or her child, causing harm to the child. By adopting this policy, the board eliminates the argument that the school district is in any way liable should a child become ill after consuming medical marijuana.

In other news at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to make the Blackwell Public School district a “trauma-informed school.” The resolution approved by the board, which aims to enable educators to help children who have experienced sexual abuse and other forms of neglect, will establish a committee within the district that will give educators training on how to deal with children who have had a traumatic experience. Board members said the program will better equip teachers to help students who have had a traumatic experience by providing increasing counseling services.

The board also announced that the district will be paid approximately $199,000 after receiving a favorable verdict from a three-year-old class-action lawsuit waged by a litany of Oklahoma schools that targeted the state’s imbalanced school funding formula. According to board members, a discrepancy in the state’s motor vehicle tax assessment caused some Oklahoma school districts to receive less money than they should have for several years. That money instead was distributed to larger school districts. The recent verdict will require schools that received too much money to pay that money back to the districts that did not receive it.