[Brief] Principal Michelle Kefford addresses rumors regarding suspensions over possession of medication at MSD.

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Julia Landy

Rumors have been circulating on social media regarding students being suspended for bringing over the counter medicine to school.

Andie Korenge, Writer

A mass email with the subject line “Social Media Misinformation,” was sent out by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Principal Michelle Kefford on Sept. 20 to all of the guardians of MSD students. This email addressed the recent social media rumors stating that students are being suspended over possession of over-the-counter medications.

While these rumors do not ring of truth, as Kefford made abundantly clear in the email, carrying such medications still requires permission via a form, and without the proper authorization, they will be confiscated.

These rumors and concerns have arisen after several students at MSD were suspended for possession of illegal substances, following the district’s randomly conducted classroom searches on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Although the searches were originally supposed to find possible weapons on students, security found multiple students with vapes and over the counter medications in the process. Students with items like Advil and Tylenol were not given any suspensions or referrals but a warning. Students with prescribed medicine on them were given referrals but they will not be on their permanent record and will not harm them in any way; it was required punishment but just a warning.

“It has been reported that students were suspended for possession of over the counter medications, including Tylenol,” Principal Michelle Kefford said in the email. “This is completely false. Students have not, will not, nor is it school board policy to suspend students for possession of over-the-counter medications.”

Students attending a school in Broward County are required to fill out a form titled “Authorization for Medication/Treatment Prescription or Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication” in order to carry prescriptions to school on their person. Authorization gained by completing this form is the only way a student may be allowed to possess such medications without being reprimanded.

Yet, the prescription being taken from a student by an authority figure is the only disciplinary consequence one would receive when in violation of this form. And the students whose medication was confiscated during the search were given a form to fill out to ensure they’d be able to have the medication in the future if needed and follow district policy. Kefford noted in her email that the use of various social media platforms to convey inaccurate and misleading information is something that she is becoming increasingly concerned about, and this is acting as a prime example.

The authorization form can be accessed on the MSD website and must be submitted to student affairs once completed. It is to be filled out by a student’s parent/guardian and states that the student can carry a prescription medication, administer it and allows the principal or their designee to administer it as well, if needed.