Forget zero tolerance. Bay City Public School teachers for years could be caught repeatedly under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol without being fired.

Teachers in possession or under the influence of illegal drugs could be caught three times before they lost their job, and they got five strikes if they were drunk on school grounds before being fired. A school district official said the language in the union contract that protects teachers for those instances “was incorporated into the teacher Master Agreement in 1997.”

Those protections also were included in the Bay City Education Association teacher’s contract that was agreed to in January in section 16.1300 “Controlled Substances” on page 92. That contract expired June 30 and negotiations on a new contract are ongoing.

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