Policy 5040: Statement on Drugs and Alcohol

A student involved with alcohol or other drugs, whatever the degree of involvement, represents a special problem to the individual, to the school and to the community at large. The dimensions and variations of each student's participation with alcohol or other drugs makes a "standardized" response on the part of the school and community inappropriate. A major complication is the extreme difficulty in discerning the exact degree of involvement in most cases.

The school recognizes its threefold responsibility. First, maintaining a strong curriculum to teach accurately the legal and illegal uses of alcohol or other drugs, and to understand the personal and social consequences of alcohol and drug use/abuse/addiction. Second, the school must be mindful of its responsibility to protect the interests of the student body through early intervention when an individual alcohol or other drug abuse problem has become evident. Thirdly, to do whatever is practicable to help the alcohol or drug-involved student.

Because the alcohol and other drug problem is one which is essentially an overall community problem, the school must cooperate freely with the broad spectrum of community resources. Among these are included the Drug Abuse Prevention Council and Coalition for Awareness Responsibility, Education and Safety, local social and medical agencies, police, clergy and, most significantly, parents.

When there is reason to suspect that a student is involved in the use or abuse of alcohol or other drugs, the school will immediately involve parents, with the student's knowledge along with the proper community agencies to effect responsible assistance for the individual and, where applicable, to protect the interests of other students through suspension or other action. In each case, every effort will be made to assist the rehabilitation through psychological and medical consultation, and social services that might be needed by the student and his family. The school feels that we should share a concern about alcohol and other drug involvement with parents, even if this concern should prove to be unfounded, since early intervention can possibly limit and prevent further involvement of the individual and other students as well. By this open approach, the school can help develop a viable community response to the problem of alcohol and other drug use/abuse with broadened preventive and educational programs for students and parents.

Adopted by Board of Education: March 9, 1970

Revised: November 18, 1997