File JFCI: Student Substance Abuse

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The following are terms which are frequently used in the Substance Abuse Policy.
 
DEFINITIONS:
 
The Child Study Team is a group of school site-based elementary professionals who currently or previously instruct(ed) or counsel(ed) an elementary student. The group meets on an ad hoc basis at the request of a school professional. The group’s function is to identify, clarify, and resolve problems or concerns of a school professional in facilitating a child’s growth and development according to established developmental norms. These concerns may be in the area of academics, social or behavioral attributes.
 
The Student Assistance Team is a group of school site-based secondary professionals representing various disciplines. The group’s function is to identify, clarify and intervene with students at risk of school failure by virtue of academic, social or behavioral attributes.   The Team meets on a systemic and regular basis and will refer at-risk students to appropriate parties and resources for help.
 
Substance abuse is the progressive misuse of a legal or illegal substance, characterized by harmful disruptions in an individual’s mental, physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual or economic life.
 
REFERRALS:
 
(a)  Self-referral: A student who recognizes that a problem exists for himself/herself or a student who is affected by the substance abuse of a member of his/her household
 
(b) Referral by a concerned person:  Someone who is concerned about a student regarding substance abuse may speak with the appropriate building principal or guidance counselor.
 
It is the task of the Board of Directors to maintain a safe and healthful school community. It is not the task of the Board of Directors or the school administrators to diagnose substance abuse, but rather to make referral to such agencies or individuals as can make the diagnosis and recommend appropriate follow-up.
 
 
Notwithstanding anything which follows, possession, use or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students of M.S.A.D. No. 75 is prohibited on school premises or at any school activity. Nor shall a student manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use or be under the influence of “bath salts,” any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, anabolic steroid; any other controlled substance defined in federal and state laws/regulations; any look-alike substance; or any substance that is represented to be a controlled substance. Disciplinary sanctions, which may include expulsion or referral for prosecution, will be imposed on students who violate this standard of conduct.
           
Compliance with the above standards of conduct is mandatory, and failure to adhere to the standards is a violation of this policy.
 
A copy of the Substance Abuse Policy (except for that portion which covers employees) shall be distributed to all students and to their parents and shall serve as notification that compliance with the above standards of conduct is mandatory.
 
The Board of Directors of Maine School Administrative District No. 75 recognizes that substance abuse is a significant health problem, resulting in negative effects on behavior, learning and the total development of each individual. Students’ use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs also affect the development of skills related to participation in extracurricular activities. Familial substance abuse problems likewise affect the learning of children and place them at high risk of developing substance abuse problems.
 
Student health problems are primarily the responsibility of the parent or guardians. However, the community and school share in that responsibility because substance abuse problems often affect learning and development.
 
The Board of Directors supports education and awareness activities for school personnel, students and parents. These educational programs cover substance use and abuse problems, including the symptomatology of substance dependency and related issues affecting students. *
 
The Board of Directors believes that the School District should: (1) establish firm standards and prohibitions about the use and distribution of substances and (2) help students recognize and address their own and/or familial substance use and abuse problems.
 
Consequently, the Board of Directors is committed to offering a broad based substance abuse prevention program that addresses both primary and secondary prevention.
 
* Appropriate use of prescription drugs is not covered by this policy.
 
Prevention includes, yet is not limited to, those activities that focus on self-esteem, coping skills, decision-making, health education and substance abuse education. This knowledge and these skills are made available to all students. 
 
Our policy supports early intervention, through education, referral, follow-up and support service for students who may have substance use or substance abuse related problems, either personal and/or familial in nature.
 
ELEMENTARY LEVEL (K-5)
 
PROCEDURE RELATED TO POSSESSION/USE
 
If a student is found or reasonably suspected of possessing or using substances, the principal or the principal’s designee will meet with the individual. The Student Assessment Team/The Child Study Team, which may include the principal, guidance personnel, teacher, substance abuse counselor, school nurse and parent, will convene to plan appropriate action. This will be done on a case-by-case basis. Appropriate records will be kept of all proceedings. Illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
 
All students referred, whether through self-referral or a concerned individual, will be seen by a guidance counselor. The child may be seen individually or in a group. The parents may or may not be contacted. *
 
Should further counseling be required, a parent or other appropriate adult will be notified that the student should be referred to another agency.
 
*  State Law (Chapter 20A MRSA 4008) requires a counselor to keep confidential counseling relationship unless:
(1) student permission allows disclosure.
(2) safety/abuse concerns exist.
 
 
                                                                                                           
SECONDARY LEVEL (GRADES 9-12)
 
STUDENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE ASSISTANCE PROCEDURES
 
The Substance Abuse Policy provides for education, intervention and discipline. The administrative procedures for discipline and/or assistance follow.
 
I. INITIAL DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
 
Students found in possession of alcohol, controlled substances, illegal drugs,
intoxicants, imitation controlled substances, or paraphernalia, or showing the effects of alcohol or other drugs on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions shall be suspended by the principal or the principal’s designee for a minimum of one (1) school day to a maximum of ten (10) school days. Students who choose to be involved in the student substance abuse assistance program may be readmitted to school on the recommendation of the principal following a conference with the student and his/her parents or guardian. Students refusing this option shall receive a suspension of ten (10) school days, or expulsion.
 
II. STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
 
Any student concerned about his/her alcohol or drug use or the use by a friend, or who is affected by the substance abuse of a family memberis urged to seek professional advice. Initial contact may be made through the school substance abuse counselor, the school principal, a guidance counselor, a teacher, or any professional health care provider, i.e. physician, psychologist or community counseling provider. School District employees will respect the confidential nature of such contacts. Illegal activities, however, must be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
 
A Student Assistance Team will be established at Mt. Ararat High School to review referrals. Team members will include an administrator, a guidance counselor or teacher, the school nurse, a substance abuse counselor, and others deemed appropriate. Referrals from parents, police, faculty and administrators will be reviewed. Referrals are strictly confidential.
 
The Team will make a recommendation(s) regarding appropriate intervention. One team member will assume responsibility for monitoring the plan and reporting back to the Team.
 
Intervention will include participation in a student support group, behavioral contracts, evaluation and/or treatment programs and alternative approaches.
If participation in the Student Substance Abuse Assistance Program is the result of a violation of the Substance Abuse Policy, such participation will be required until the student’s progress is acceptable to the Substance Abuse Assessment Team.
 
Failure to comply with the recommendation of the Team will result in additional disciplinary action, including the possibility of expulsion.
 
Parents or guardians may suggest alternative approaches to the Substance Abuse Assessment Team if they are not satisfied with the specific recommendation of the Team. The Team will determine the acceptability of such alternative approach.
 
III. GROUNDS FOR FURTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION
 
A. FURTHER SUSPENSION – Failure to comply with the course of action determined appropriate for the student by the Assessment Team will result in further suspension.
 
B. EXPULSION – Expulsion may be recommended:
 
(1)  when the safety and well-being of the school/community are threatened;
 
(2) for any second offense of the Substance Abuse Policy where the student does not become successfully involved in the Student Assistance Program;
 
(3) for selling or furnishing alcohol or other drugs in school or at a school function.
 
                                                                                                           
IV.  REFERRAL TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
 
Violations of state and federal laws with respect to use, possession, furnishing or selling alcohol or other drugs in any case will be referred to law enforcement officials. Law enforcement decisions are beyond the scope of the school substance abuse policy.
 
FIRST READING:                                                   August 8, 1991
SECOND READING:                                              September 26, 1991
ADOPTION:                                                            September 26, 1991
FIRST READING (AMENDMENTS):                      February 11, 1993
SECOND READING (AMENDMENTS):                 February 25, 1993
ADOPTION (AMENDMENTS):                               February 25, 1993                       
FIRST READING OF REVISIONS:                         July 12, 2012
SECOND READING OF REVISIONS:                    August 16, 2012
ADOPTION OF REVISIONS:                                  August 16, 2012    
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