File: JICH - ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, AND DRUG USE BY STUDENTS PROHIBITED

A student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use or consume, possess, buy or sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product, including vapor/E-cigarettes; marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance. The School Committee prohibits the use, possession, distribution or consumption by students of alcohol, tobacco products, drugs or drug paraphernalia  on school property, at any school function, or at any school sponsored event.

Additionally, any student who distributes, is in possession of, or is under the influence of drugs or alcoholic beverages [prior to or during, attendance at or participation in a school-sponsored activity] on school premises or at a school sponsored activity, may  be barred from that activity and may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in Rules 8 and 13 of the Student Handbook and state law.  

Rule 8. - Policy on Possession or Use of Drugs or Alcohol

a. Any student who distributes or possesses, with intent to distribute, any controlled substance as defined in MGL c. 94C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, on school premises or at a school sponsored activity, is subject to disciplinary action, which may include in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension or expulsion imposed from the Worcester Public Schools by the school principal. This applies to drug paraphernalia such as scales, grinders, pipes, electronic smoking devices and any and all instruments used for drug products.

b. Any student who uses or possesses any controlled substance as defined in MGL c. 94C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine or heroin, or is under the influence of such a substance on school premises or at a school sponsored activity may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension or expulsion 

c. Possession or use of alcohol on the premises of the Worcester Public Schools is forbidden. Any student who uses or possesses alcohol on school premises, or at a school sponsored activity, or is under the influence of alcohol on school premises, or a school  sponsored situation, may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include in-school suspension, short-term suspension or long term suspension imposed from the Worcester Public Schools.

d. This policy will be implemented subject to the due process provision of the Worcester Public Schools Discipline Code applicable to Regular and Special Education students. Any student charged with a violation of Rule 8 shall have the due process rights outlined in Due Process, Section III and state law.

e.   In appropriate circumstances, Support and Intervention Services will be offered to students that violate the policy and are receptive to education and treatment for a substance use disorder.

f. Possession or use of drugs or controlled substances which are medically prescribed is not a violation of this policy. However, all prescribed medications will be administered to students by authorized personnel and will be kept in a secure location in accordance with district policy.  Students may not possess or self-administer drugs or controlled substances that are medically prescribed with the exception of an asthma inhaler, insulin, and/or Epi-pen in accordance with district policy and protocols.  The school nurse will make decisions regarding the administration of medications in accordance with state and federal laws and the input of the student's medical provider.  

Rule 13. - Smoking and Tobacco Products

Smoking, possession, us , or distribution of tobacco or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices within school buildings, school facilities, school grounds, on school buses or at school sponsored activity by any person are prohibited. Any student who violates this rule may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include in-school suspension, short-term suspension or long-term suspension.

The school district shall utilize, in accordance with the law, a verbal screening tool approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to screen students for substance abuse disorders. The tool shall be administered by trained staff on an annual basis at grades 7 and 9.

Parents/guardians shall be notified prior to the opening of school each year. Parents/guardians shall have the right to opt out of the screening by written notice prior to or during the screening.

All statements made by a student during a screening are confidential and shall not be disclosed except in the event of immediate medical emergency or in accordance with law.  De-identified results shall be reported to the Department of Public Health within 90 days of completion of the screening process.

This policy shall be posted on the district's website and notice shall be provided to all students and parents of this policy in accordance with state law. Additionally, the district shall file a copy of this policy with DESE in accordance with law in a manner requested by DESE

LEGAL REFS.: M.G.L.71:96; 71:97; 272:40A

CROSS REFS.: IHAMB, Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

GBEC, Drug Free Workplace Policy