SAFE AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS
The MSDWT participates in the Safe, Drug-Free School Zone sign program. It is the goal of the District to make our schools and community safe and completely drug and alcohol free. The District supports the parental compact of not providing alcohol to minors.
(Policies 5600 & 5530)
Student Drug and Alcohol Testing
The Board believes that maintaining an environment that is safe, free from substance use/ abuse, and conducive to learning is an important goal for the District and the community. The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to address drug and alcohol problems in the schools (Policy 5532). The Board believes that the parents/guardians and the school must work together to educate, encourage, and support students in an attempt to prevent their illegal use of drugs and alcohol. The Board believes that parents /guardians want to know when their children are using drugs or alcohol.
As used in this policy, the terms “substance use/abuse,” “drug or alcohol use or abuse,” “drug or alcohol problems” or similar phrases include, without limitation, the following:
- Use or under the influence of any drug, intoxicant, controlled substance, or other substance made unlawful by law or regulation;
- Use or under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or similar intoxicant;
- Use of any prescription medication or legend drug not strictly in accordance with the direction of a licensed physician;
- Use of any non-prescription or over-the-counter medication or of any other substance, legal or illegal, in a way that noticeably impairs or alters mood, behaviors, motor skills or mental functions (except use of a substance strictly in accordance with the direction of a licensed physician).
The term “use” means consuming, ingesting, drinking, injecting, demonstrating, inhaling, or smoking drugs or alcohol.
The term “under the influence” means any positive test that was administered under this policy. Any confirmed evidential breath test with a value of .020 or greater is the definition of under the influence of alcohol.
The term “alcohol” means ethyl alcohol and includes all beverages, mixtures, medications, inhalants, or preparations which contain ethyl alcohol.
The term “drug” means any substance that has known mind or function altering effects upon the human body or that impairs one’s ability to safely perform his or her work, and specifically includes, but is not limited to, all prescription and over-the-counter medications, all psychoactive substances, all controlled substances, all substances illegal under Federal or Indiana law, all synthetic, counterfeit or designer drugs, all “look alike” drugs, all drug paraphernalia, and nicotine.
The Student Drug and Alcohol Testing policy and program in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township for students is established for the following purposes:
- To ensure the safety and security of our schools;
- To discourage and reduce use of drugs and alcohol at school, at school-related events and activities, to and from school, and during non-school times;
- To provide students and parents with information on ways to prevent drug and/or alcohol use /abuse;
- To identify students who might have drug and/or alcohol problems;
- To assist students and parents in seeking assessment and treatment (if necessary) when a student has a drug and/or alcohol problem; and
- To allow for effective transition of students back into school after treatment.
Students who use or abuse drugs and/or alcohol often exhibit negative behaviors and other indicators of their problem. These indicators can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Mood swings;
- Aggressive (including fighting) or lethargic behavior;
- Risk-taking behavior;
- Falling grades;
- Bragging or talking to other students about drug and/or alcohol use;
- Loss of interest in school and in favorite activities;
- Significant deterioration in grades or attendance;
- Significant deterioration in grooming;
- Truancy, excessive tardiness and/or excessive absence;
- Isolation from friends and family members; and
- Depression and/or entire withdrawal.
As used in this policy, “reasonable suspicion” includes observation of the negative behaviors and actions set out above as indicators of a problem; specific observations concerning the appearance, behavior, body odors, or speech of a student; information received by the principal or his designee from teachers, parents, students, employees, or detection devices; the past record of a student in connection with any of the above listed factors; an accident involving a motor vehicle (cars, motorcycles, motor bikes, etc.) before, during, or after school hours at school or in any other “School District location” defined as any school building and on any school premises; on any school-owned vehicle or in any other school approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities; on or off school property at any school sponsored or school approved activity, event, or function, such as a field trip or athletic event, where students are under the jurisdiction of the School District; or during any period of time students are under the supervision of employees who are working on behalf of the District or otherwise engaged in District business.
The District has the right to request an appropriate specimen such as urine, breath, saliva, sweat, or any other specimen deemed reasonable in conducting drug and alcohol tests. Students will be required to submit to a drug and alcohol test in accordance with rules and regulations to be developed by the Superintendent in the following circumstances:
- The student violates the District policy and/or the school rules pertaining to use, possession, and/or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- If an administrator, teacher, or other staff member has reasonable suspicion that a student might be using drugs and/or alcohol.
The results of the drug and alcohol test will be provided to the Drug Education Coordinator who will share the results with the parent/guardian. If the results are positive, the Drug Education Coordinator will proceed as follows:
First Positive Test: The results of the test will be provided to both the parent/ guardian and the principal or principal’s designee. If the parent/guardian wants a retest administered on the same sample, the full cost of the retest shall be borne by the parent/guardian. The Drug Education Coordinator will work with the parent/ guardian to provide guidance in seeking assessment and/or treatment as an alternative to expulsion. Students testing positive will be placed on probation. Failure to participate in any recommended program for assistance and treatment will result in a recommendation of expulsion.
Second Positive Test: When any student tests positive a second time (not including a prior retest that was paid by the parent/guardian), the student will be suspended, and the school will initiate a request for the student’s expulsion. The cost for the second positive test shall be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The results of the second positive test will be provided to both the parent/guardian and the principal or principal’s designee. If the parent/guardian wants a retest administered on the sample, the full cost of the retest shall be borne by the parent/guardian.
A student’s refusal to submit to a drug and alcohol test or to provide a valid specimen will be considered admission of a violation of the District policy and school rules pertaining to the use and possession of drugs or alcohol. If the laboratory reports the presence of an adulterant in the specimen provided, the District shall deem it a refusal to provide a valid specimen. A violation of this District policy or any school rule will be dealt with in accordance to the District’s policy on student suspension and expulsion
The Board believes that students need encouragement and motivation to keep from illegally using drugs and alcohol. In an effort to supply students with positive reinforcement, the Board will institute a voluntary drug and alcohol testing program for students. Students who volunteer will be tested on an unannounced random basis throughout the school year. Students testing positive under the voluntary testing program will receive student assistance and shall be subject to the same discipline procedures as students testing positive under the “reasonable suspicion” program.
Any student who has a drug and/or alcohol related problem may request assistance through the principal or the Drug Education Coordinator. A student who makes a self-referral or requests assistance prior to a first positive drug test will be assigned to the Student Assistance Program. This provision does not apply to students who make such requests after they have been notified of the requirement to submit to a drug and alcohol test or to provide a specimen under this policy. Self-referrals after a positive drug test may be assigned to the Student Assistance Program and shall be subject to the same discipline procedures as students testing positive under the “reasonable suspicion” program.
As part of the District’s Drug Education Curriculum, students in grades 8-12 are expected to periodically participate in the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Survey distributed by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center. Parents not wanting their child to participate should contact the school office by January 31st of each year.