CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Clayton County educator says he is grateful that he will be allowed to keep his job with the district after he tested positive for low levels of THC.
Assistant Principal Ed Blackwood told Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman that he was injured while breaking up a lunchroom fight in March.
Part of the workers' compensation process required him to take a drug test, he said. Blackwood said he takes CBD oil to help treat the symptoms of a painful autoimmune disease.
He said the CBD caused him to fail the drug test.
“My reaction was that I was absolutely shocked. Never (had) anything to do with marijuana in my life, but I do take CBD oil,” Blackwood told Hyman. “I did inform the doctor at the clinic that I took it and she says sometimes that tests positive, especially at low levels.”
He has spent the last six months fighting to keep his job after the district suspended him.
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He showed Hyman the binders filled with papers from his lengthy fair dismissal hearing.
He said he and a lawyer spent months building a case with witnesses and evidence.
“As a result of that, the hearing tribunal found me guilty and recommended termination,” Blackwood said.
But last week, the Clayton County Board of Education rejected the decision and gave Blackwood his job back.
Blackwood said he hopes his experience helps others and encourages employers to review their drug policies now that the laws are changing.
“I thought: There are those that are going to come after me and this is a precedent-setting case and I refuse to give in because this needs to be fixed,” Blackwood said.
The district said that, currently, there have not been any changes to the district’s drug policy as it relates to CBD.
Blackwood, who was reassigned to a different school, said he is happy to be back serving his community.
Cox Media Group