Outline of the state of Tennessee

Alcohol and Drug-use Intervention Programs

Alcohol and Drug-use Intervention Programs

State law encourages districts to implement school-based alcohol and drug referral, intervention or treatment programs for students with substance use disorders.

2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-415. Recovery high schools.

(a) As used in this section:

  • (1) "Home district" means the LEA in which a student is enrolled full-time prior to enrollment in a recovery high school; and
  • (2) "Recovery high school" means a public school:
  • (A) For students who have a primary or secondary alcohol or other drug abuse or dependency diagnosis or co-occurring substance use and psychiatric diagnosis, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) or the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM);
  • (B) That provides a high school education that leads to a diploma in compliance with the rules of the state board of education; and
  • (C) With a structured plan of recovery for the students.

(b) Local boards of education may establish recovery high schools to serve eligible students in grades nine through twelve (9-12). In providing recovery high schools, any two (2) or more boards may join together and establish a recovery high school.

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The document descrobes the State board of Education's durg testing policy, including reccomending or reffering students to intervention or treatment resources.

Policy Type

Rules of the Tennessee Department of Education 0520-01-03-.08 PUPIL PERSONNEL SERVICES.

(1) Each local board of education shall develop Standard and policies for:

  • (a) Attendance Services
  • (b) Guidance Services
  • (c) School Psychological Services
  • (d) School Social Work Services
  • (e) School Health Services
Policy Type

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4213. Testing of students for drugs — Referral information and assistance for students testing positive.


  • (1) A student may be subject to testing for the presence of drugs in the student's body in accordance with this section and the policy of the LEA if there are reasonable indications to the principal that such student may have used or be under the influence of drugs. The need for testing may be brought to the attention of the principal through a search authorized by § 49-6-4204 or § 49-6-4205, observed or reported use of drugs by the student on school property, or other reasonable information received from a teacher, staff member or other student. All of the following Standard of reasonableness shall be met:
  • (A) A particular student has violated school policy;
  • (B) The test will yield evidence of the violation of school policy or will establish that a student either was impaired due to drug use or did not use drugs;
  • (C) The test is in pursuit of legitimate interests of the school in maintaining order, discipline, safety, supervision and education of students;
  • (D) The test is not conducted for the sole purpose of discovering evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution; and
  • (E) Tests shall be conducted in the presence of a witness. Persons who shall act as witnesses shall be designated in the policy of the local board of education.
  • (2) A student participating in voluntary extracurricular activities may be subject to random drug testing in the absence of individualized reasonable suspicion provided the Standard set forth in subdivisions (a)(1)(B)-(E) are met.

(b) As used in this section and § 49-6-4203, “drugs” means:

  • (1) Any scheduled drug as specified in §§ 39-17-405 — 39-17-416; and
  • (2) Alcohol.

(c) Before a drug testing program is implemented in any LEA, the local board of education in that LEA shall establish policies, procedures and guidelines to implement this section within that LEA. The state board of education shall prepare a model policy, procedure and guidelines that may be adopted by local boards of education.

(d) Tests shall be conducted by properly trained persons in circumstances that ensure the integrity, validity and accuracy of the test results but are minimally intrusive and provide maximum privacy to the tested student. All tests shall be performed by an accredited laboratory. Specimens confirmed as positive shall be retained for at least ten (10) days for possible retesting or reanalysis.

(e) Students shall be advised in writing at the time of their enrollment that they are subject to testing. Notice to each student shall include grounds for testing, the procedures that will be followed and possible penalties. Students shall be advised of their right to refuse to undergo drug testing and the consequences of refusal.


  • (1) A parent of the student or a person legally responsible for the student shall be notified before any drug test is administered to the student.
  • (2) If an LEA adopts a policy permitting random drug testing of students in voluntary extracurricular activities, then, prior to a student participating in an extracurricular activity, the LEA shall notify the parents and guardians of any such student that the student may be subjected to random drug testing. A parent or guardian of a student participating in a volunteer extracurricular activity shall provide written consent for random drug testing prior to the student participating in the voluntary extracurricular activity.

(g) The LEA shall pay the cost of any testing required under this section.

(h) In any school where LEA or school policy allows tests provided for by this section, in-service training of principals and teachers will be conducted in signs and symptoms of student drug use and abuse and in the school policy for handling of these students. The department of mental health and substance abuse services shall cause qualified trainers to be available to the schools to conduct this training.

(i) Test reports from laboratories shall include the specimen number assigned by the submitting LEA, the drug testing laboratory accession number and results of the drug tests. Certified copies of all analytical results shall be available from the laboratory when requested by the LEA or the parents of the student. The laboratory shall not be permitted to provide testing results verbally by telephone.


  • (1) All specimens testing negative on the initial screening test or negative on the confirmatory test shall be reported as negative.
  • (2) If a student is tested and the results of the test are negative, all records of the test, request for a test or indication a student has been tested shall be expunged from all records, including school records.


  • (1) If a student is tested in a drug testing program and the results of the test are positive, all records of the test, request for a test or indication a student has been tested shall be confidential student records in accordance with § 10-7-504(a)(4)(A).
  • (2) No student who is tested under a random drug testing program and who tests positive shall be suspended or expelled from school solely as the result of the positive test.
  • (3) The principal or school counselor of the school in which a student who tests positive in a drug testing program is enrolled shall provide referral information to the student and to the student's parents or guardian. The information shall include information on inpatient, outpatient and community-based drug and alcohol treatment programs.

(l) Each LEA participating in the drug testing of students authorized in subsection (a) shall promulgate policies and procedures to ensure that those students testing positive receive the assistance needed. The assistance shall include an assessment to determine the severity of the student's alcohol and drug problem and a recommendation for referral to intervention or treatment resources as appropriate. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require LEAs to administer drug tests to students. Any system that elects to participate shall supply the testing materials and any subsequent counseling within existing local funds.

(m) Malicious use of authority granted by this section may be grounds for dismissal of the person so acting.

Policy Type