Executive Order 28

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Executive Order 28

Parental Notification, Law Enforcement Collaboration, and Student Education to Prevent Student Overdoses
November 1, 2023

View Executive Order 28

In May of 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin released Executive Order 26, directing executive branch agencies to enact a first-of-its-kind comprehensive fentanyl strategy as part of the Right Help, Right Now behavioral health transformation. On November 1, 2023, noting that transparency and community awareness are essential to ensuring the safety and well-being of Virginia’s children, Governor Youngkin released Executive Order 28, which directed the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to:

  1. Issue guidance requiring the notification of all parents within a school division through regular communication channels within 24 hours of a school-connected student overdose, while always ensuring protection of student privacy.
  2. Issue guidance outlining close collaboration between local school divisions and state law enforcement to prevent student overdoses.
  3. Provide information to local school divisions and parents about drug education and prevention programs for students.

In response to these directives and to help ensure the health and safety of all students in Virginia, the VDOE released Best Practices guidance for schools and a collection of Resources intended to provide students, parents, and school personnel with critical information, programs, and resources on opioid use and abuse.

Defining “Overdose”

At the recommendation of our School Health Advisory Board, Albemarle County Public Schools will use the following definition for overdose:

An overdose is a life-threatening condition resulting from the ingestion of too much of a substance or substances where the individual is non-responsive, has decreased or stopped respiration and heart rate, and a blueish discoloration of the skin and/or nailbeds (cyanosis). Emergency medical treatment is necessary for an overdose, which may include the administration of naloxone, activation of the EMS, and medical transport. Rescue breathing and CPR may also be necessary.

Our Responsibilities

In partnership with our School Health Advisory Board, Albemarle County Public Schools interprets our responsibilities under Executive Order 28 to include notifying all families in the division in the case of a student opioid overdose. Notification will be provided via email and will include access to the following information and resources about opioid use and drug prevention programs.

Our Prevention & Response Efforts

Albemarle County Public Schools’ Health Education curriculum contains units on making good choices regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs, including opioids. Specific information on the dangers of fentanyl lacing in unregulated drugs is included.

All school nurses and numerous other school personnel have been trained in recognizing and responding to opioid overdose, and the opioid reversal agent naloxone (Narcan) is available at every school. We also plan to offer information sessions and training programs to school personnel, families, and students. The division will share more information about these opportunities as details are finalized.

The Impact of Opioids

In Virginia, drug overdoses are the leading cause of unnatural death and have been since 2013. More Virginians die every year from overdoses than from automobile crashes. Opioids - specifically fentanyl - has been the driving force behind the large increases. In 2021, fentanyl contributed to 76.4% of all Virginia overdose deaths. It was estimated that 98% of these fatal fentanyl overdoses in Virginia were caused by the illicit, rather than prescription, version of the drug. Awareness and education are two of the best defenses against opioid misuse and overdose.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides important information on Opioids and the devastating impact that the drug epidemic is having in our communities and schools. Resources include data on the current impact of opioids, research on drug use and addiction, overdose prevention, and opioid overdose reversal medications.

The Virginia Department of Health provides primary and overdose prevention strategies in English and Spanish, Virginia-specific drug overdose and health-related data, health impact data, and provider training and education.

Drug Education and Prevention Programs

Local school divisions and parents seeking information for students to develop good decision-making skills and prevent violations of Virginia law may consider the following:

Federal Programs and Resources

Virginia Programs and Resources

Programs for Decision-Making Skills for Students Related to Opioids

Information and Considerations for Schools