Student Handbook - Controlled Substance

Controlled Substance

            This policy covers all students participating in all activities of the school – not just athletics. This includes athletics, music, oral interpretation, FCCLA, FFA, plays, or any other activities where the students represent the school.      

            The philosophy of this policy relating to the use of mood-altering chemicals such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs and marijuana is as follows: "The school recognizes the use of mood-altering chemicals as a significant health problem for many adolescents, resulting in negative effects on behavior, learning and the total development of each individual. The misuse and abuse of mood-altering chemicals for some adolescents affects extracurricular participation and development of related skills. Others are affected by the misuse and abuse by family, team members or other significant persons in their lives. The close contact in activities of advisers and coaches provides them with a unique opportunity to observe, confront and assist young people.

The school, therefore, supports education and awareness of chemical dependency and special issues affecting school activities for administrators, athletic directors, coaches, advisers, participants and their families.

The statement of purpose of this program is:

1.                  To encourage the growth of responsible citizenship among the students, other schools, and their personnel.

2.         To emphasize the school's concerns for the health of students in areas of safety while participating in activities and the long-                term physical and emotional affects of chemical use on their health.

            3.         To promote equity and a sense of order and discipline among students.

                         4.         To confirm and support existing state laws that restricts the use of mood-altering chemicals.

                         5.         To establish standards of conduct for those students who are leaders and standard-bearers among their peers.

6.         To assist students who desire to resist peer pressure that directs them toward the use of mood-altering chemicals.

7.         To assist students who should be referred for assistance or evaluation regarding their use of mood-altering chemicals.

Basic Rule of the Policy – During the school year and the season of practice, play or rehearsal, regardless of the quantity, a student shall not possess, use, sell, or be under the influence of beer, alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances or tobacco products in school, on school property, at school activities or in any other area where school functions are occurring. Prohibition shall also extend to all non-school activities and locations. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student's own use by a doctor.

The count of violations will not start over with each school year, but will continue from grade 7 through 12.

Penalties For Violations

First violation – After confirmation of the first violation, the student shall lose eligibility for the next school function in its entirety. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program.

Second violation – After confirmation of the second violation, the student shall lose eligibility in events in which the student is a participant for the next two school functions in its entirety. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. In addition, students using any form of alcohol or drug in either or both of the violations would have to provide documentation that the student has sought or has received counseling form a community agency or professional individual such as a drug counselor, medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. (This would be a student-parents expense.)

Third violation – After confirmation of the third or subsequent violations, the student shall lose eligibility in all school functions for the remainder of the school year. If the student voluntarily becomes a participant in a chemical dependency program or treatment program at his own or parent expense, the student may be certified for possible reinstatement in activities after a minimum period of six weeks. Such certification must be issued by the director or a counselor of a chemical dependency treatment center. Students whose offenses have all involved tobacco and only tobacco may be reinstated after six weeks.

Other Points of Consideration

            Confirmation of a violation would have to be made by a faculty member, administrator, law enforcement officer, or parent of the student involved.

            Reports of a violation shall be made to and be investigated by the principal. The principal shall interview the student concerning the alleged violation. If the investigation indicates that a violation has occurred, the student's parents shall be advised of the violation and be given an opportunity for a face-to-face conference with the principal at a time and place designated by the principal. Upon completion of the investigation, if a violation is determined to have occurred, the above penalties would be enforced.

            A school function is considered to be any function that is at least one of the following: sponsored, funded, and/or advised by a school employee or representative of the district. In the case of organizations regular meetings, planning meetings and practices will not count as a school function in which the student loses eligibility. Music events such as concerts, pep band, full group contests, and other required performances will also not be counted as school functions since they are part of the curriculum and credit is given. However, music events separate from what is the minimum requirement for all students will be counted as school functions. Students would be required to rehearse or practice if they wish to continue in the activity after the suspension period.

It is not a defense under this policy that the particular student's violation did not constitute a criminal violation under South Dakota law. (Therefore, if a parent buys a student alcohol, this may not be breaking a South Dakota law, but would still subject the student to penalties under this policy.)

            The violation may be reported to the proper juvenile court official or state's attorney.