SENATE, No. 1857

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

  • INTRODUCED MARCH 24, 2014
  • Sponsored by:
  • Senator RICHARD J. CODEY
  • District 27 (Essex and Morris)
  • Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
  • District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

SYNOPSIS

Establishes measures to deter steroid use among students.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.

An Act concerning the prevention of steroid use among certain students, amending P.L.1987, c.389, and supplementing chapters 11 and 40A of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. (New section) The Department of Education and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association shall work jointly to develop and implement, by the 2014-2015 school year, a program of random testing for steroids of student-athletes who qualify to compete in championship tournaments sanctioned by the association.

2. (New section) a. Any person who coaches a public school district or nonpublic school interscholastic sport, dance, or cheerleading team for male students shall incorporate into the team’s training activities a program designed to reduce the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, alcohol, and drugs, and to promote healthy nutrition and exercise. A coach shall submit to the athletic director of the school district or nonpublic school for the director’s approval a plan designed to implement the program.

b. The program established pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall have a team-centered design that provides a non-stigmatizing atmosphere to address the risks of substance abuse unique to male adolescents. The school district or nonpublic school may use programs such as the Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) Program or such other appropriate program as determined by the school district or nonpublic school. The program shall consist of peer instructors and a coach facilitator to implement the training activities and shall address issues including, but not limited to: social influences such as peers, coaches, and the media; information concerning steroids and performance enhancing supplements, alcohol, and drugs; skills to resist drug experimentation and temptation; team ethics and commitment to a drug-free lifestyle; personal vulnerability to the effects of drugs; debunking media images promoting supplement and substance use; and the promotion of athletic achievement through healthy nutrition and exercise.

3. (New section) a. Any person who coaches a public school district or nonpublic school interscholastic sport, dance, or cheerleading team for female students shall incorporate into the team’s training activities a program designed to reduce the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, alcohol, and drugs including body-shaping drugs, reduce the incidence of eating disorders, and promote healthy nutrition and exercise. A coach shall submit to the athletic director of the school district or nonpublic school for the director’s approval a plan designed to implement the program.

b. The program established pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall have a team-centered design that provides a non-stigmatizing atmosphere to address the risks of substance abuse and eating disorders unique to female adolescents. The school district or nonpublic school may use programs such as the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) Program or such other appropriate program as determined by the school district or nonpublic school. The program shall consist of peer instructors and a coach facilitator to implement the training activities and shall address issues including, but not limited to: social influences such as peers, coaches, and the media; information concerning the dangers of eating disorders and the use of alcohol and drugs, including body-shaping drugs; skills to resist drug experimentation and temptation; team ethics and commitment to a drug-free lifestyle; personal vulnerability to the effects of drugs and eating disorders; debunking media images promoting supplement and substance use; and the promotion of athletic achievement through healthy nutrition and exercise.

4. (New section) The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association shall develop and implement, by the 2014-2015 school year, an information program for all public and nonpublic high school coaches and athletic directors on steroid and performance enhancing supplement prevention. The program shall establish procedures and protocols designed to provide coaches and athletic directors with information on the dangers of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, identify the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements by student athletes, and effectively incorporate healthy alternatives for building strength into coaches’ training programs, including the promotion of healthy nutrition and exercise.

The association shall conduct annual program workshops for high school coaches and athletic directors.

5. (New section) The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association shall provide anti-steroid and anti-performance enhancing supplement advertisements in any brochure, pamphlet, handout, program, book, or other type of material produced for sale or distribution at a tournament sanctioned by the association. The association may use any existing materials produced by the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey.

6. (New section) The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse shall prepare an instructional poster which warns of the potential health risks of using steroids and performance enhancing supplements and the penalties for their unlawful use and possession. The council shall distribute the posters to each school district and nonpublic school in the State.

A poster prepared by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse pursuant to this section shall be prominently displayed in gymnasiums and locker rooms of all public and nonpublic schools.

7. (New section) The week beginning with the third Monday in September of each year is designated as “Steroid Awareness Week” in the State of New Jersey. School districts shall observe this week by organizing activities to raise awareness of the hazards of using steroids and performance enhancing supplements. Activities shall include, but not be limited to, a school-wide steroid awareness assembly in each school in the district and age-appropriate opportunities for student discussion on: the potential health hazards and legal consequences that may result from using steroids and performance enhancing supplements; strategies to prevent the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements; strength building methods that serve as alternatives to the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements; and the interpretation of labels on dietary supplements marketed for performance enhancement. Health professionals, fitness experts, coaches and law enforcement personnel shall be invited to join members of the teaching staff in the discussions. Programs that are designed to help recognize the warning signs of steroid and performance enhancing supplement use shall also be provided for school board employees. Districts shall ensure that each school holds a school assembly on steroid awareness during this week. The Department of Education, in consultation with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, shall provide guidelines and information to boards of education for use in planning the activities in observance of the week and such funds as are necessary to pay the costs of the required activities and programs.

8. (New section) The Commissioner of Education shall biannually compile and analyze the results of the surveys submitted by school districts pursuant to the biannual New Jersey Student Health Survey and the data on steroid use that is annually collected by the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services and based on that information shall compile a biannual report. A copy of the biannual report shall be delivered to the Governor, the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), the board of education of each school district, and upon request to the public.

9. (New section) The Commissioner of Education shall ensure that information and materials concerning prevention of the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements are available for public use on the Department of Education’s Internet website.

10. (New section) The State Board of Education shall review the Core Curriculum Content Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education to ensure that information about anabolic steroids is included therein. The goal of the instruction shall be to inform students of the potential health hazards associated with steroids and performance enhancing supplements, strategies to prevent the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, strength building methods that may serve as an alternative to the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, and the interpretation of labels on dietary supplements marketed for performance enhancement.

11. Section 3 of P.L.1987, c.389 (C.18A:40A-3) is amended to read as follows:

3. a. Upon completion of the curriculum guidelines required pursuant to section 2 of this act, the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health, shall establish inservice workshops and training programs to train selected public school teachers to teach an education program on drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco and controlled dangerous substances. The inservice training programs may utilize existing county or regional offices, or such other institutions, agencies or persons as the Commissioner of Education deems appropriate. The programs and workshops shall provide instructional preparation for the teaching of the drug, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco and controlled dangerous substances curriculum, and shall, in addition to the curriculum material, include information on the history, pharmacology, physiology and psychosocial aspects of drugs, alcohol, anabolic steroids, tobacco and controlled dangerous substances, symptomatic behavior associated with substance abuse, the availability of rehabilitation and treatment programs, [and] the legal aspects of substance abuse, strategies to prevent the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, strength building methods that may serve as an alternative to the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, and the interpretation of labels on dietary supplements marketed for performance enhancement. Each local board of education shall provide time for the inservice training during the usual school schedule in order to insure that appropriate teaching staff members are prepared to teach the education program in each grade in each school district.

b. Upon completion of the initial inservice training program, the Commissioner of Education shall insure that programs and workshops that reflect the most current information on substance abuse are prepared and are made available to teaching staff members at regular intervals.

c. In addition to providing inservice training programs for teaching staff members who will provide instruction on substance abuse in the public schools, the Commissioner of Education shall make these training programs available to such other instructional and supervisory personnel as he deems necessary and appropriate.

(cf: P.L.1989, c.225, s.4)

12. This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

This bill establishes measures to deter the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements among the State’s middle school and high school students. The bill implements the recommendations of the December 2005 report of the Governor’s Task Force on Steroid Use and Prevention.

The bill requires the Department of Education and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to work jointly to develop and implement, by the 2014-2015 school year, a program of random steroid testing of student-athletes who qualify to compete in championship tournaments sanctioned by the association.

Under the bill, any person who coaches a public school district or nonpublic school interscholastic sport, dance, or cheerleading team must incorporate into the team’s training activities a gender-specific program designed to reduce the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements, alcohol, and drugs, and to promote healthy nutrition and exercise. The program must have a team-centered design that provides a non-stigmatizing atmosphere and includes gender-specific content to address the risk of substance abuse unique to male and female adolescents. The program developed by the coach must be submitted to the athletic director of the school district or nonpublic school for approval.

The bill also requires the NJSIAA to develop and implement, by the 2014-2015 school year, a steroid and performance enhancing supplement prevention information program for all public and nonpublic high school coaches and athletic directors. The program would establish procedures and protocols designed to: provide coaches and athletic directors with information on the dangers of steroids and performance enhancing supplements; identify the use of steroids and performance enhancing supplements in student athletes; and effectively incorporate healthy alternatives for strength building into coaches’ training programs.

The bill also requires the NJSIAA to provide anti-steroid and anti-performance enhancing supplement advertisements in any brochure, pamphlet, handout, program, book, or other type of material produced for sale or distribution at a tournament sanctioned by the association. The association may use any existing materials produced by the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey. Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education is charged with ensuring that information and materials about preventing steroid use are available on the Department of Education’s website.

The bill establishes the third week in September as “Steroid Awareness Week” in New Jersey and requires school districts to observe this week by organizing activities to raise awareness of the hazards of using steroids and performance enhancing supplements.