A. Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

  • EWSD upholds a drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free environment. The possession, use, or sale of tobacco, alcohol, and/or drugs is prohibited. Please refer to EWSD Policy C2: Alcohol and Drugs


    The term “drug” is defined as a mood-altering substance to include, but not be limited to, the following categories: tobacco and nicotine products (including electronic cigarettes and vaporizers), illegal drugs and substances, inhalants, controlled drugs, prescription medication, and alcohol.

    Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program

    In keeping with Title 16, VSA sections 1165 and 909, and other state and federal regulations, the School Board supports a comprehensive program which includes at least the following components: education/prevention programming and staff training; support and referral systems and cooperative agreements; immediate and emergency procedures; possession, use, and/or distribution intervention; performance and behavior-related interventions; and community awareness programming.

    • Education/Prevention Programming: EWSD has implemented a well-developed sequential tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention education curriculum for elementary and secondary schools.
    • Support and Referral Systems and Cooperative Agreements: Each school within the district has an in-school process for initial assessment, support, and, if necessary, referral to community resources for students affected by their own or another’s drug use.
    • Immediate Procedures: Emphasis shall be placed on the welfare and rights of the individual to the extent such consideration does not jeopardize the welfare and rights of others. With regard to students, in-school procedures shall provide for an immediate response to any drug-related incident until the student has been discharged to the parent, guardian, social services, medical, or law enforcement agency. As part of school procedure, the administration shall be immediately informed by school staff  of any violation of the law and/or school policy. The administration shall follow the appropriate legal procedures and due process for discipline.
    • Emergency Procedures: In the event of an emergency involving alcohol or drug abuse, every precaution must be taken to protect the person’s health and well-being while protecting the health and well-being of the remaining school population.
    • Possession, Use, or Distribution Consequences/Interventions: Any student discovered in a school building, on school property, or at a school-sanctioned activity, having possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, using or distributing drugs, or knowingly and willfully assisting another person in using or distributing drugs shall be disciplined with established school policy and procedure. The matter shall be referred to the police as necessary. Students found to be in violation of district policies, including drug, alcohol, and tobacco policies, will have their parking privileges revoked and will lose the opportunity to participate in campus-sponsored Drivers Education classes.
    • Performance and Behavior-Related Problems: According to school procedures, a minimum of two staff persons shall be designated for consultation regarding a student whose behavior or performance may indicate a problem with alcohol or other drug use. These staff persons shall assist the determination of need for further screening, education, and counseling in referral to treatment.

    Employees of the supervisory union (including contractors and drivers) shall report incidents and/or behavior of students, other employees, or visitors who display evidence of impairment. Employees shall report incidents to the principal (or designee) or the superintendent.

    When a student is determined to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, they shall be discharged to a parent, guardian, social service, medical, or law enforcement agency.

    Following appropriate consultation and deliberation, the parent or guardian of any student suspected of being under the influence of drugs shall be notified by school authorities. A course of action leading toward the determination of facts, and, if necessary, toward the treatment and rehabilitation of said student, shall be jointly considered by school authorities.

    • Follow-Up Procedures: It is recognized retaining or returning persons to the school setting is desirable whenever such action is consistent with the individual’s own rehabilitation and well-being, and whenever such action does not interfere with the learning process for students and the maintenance of discipline and safety. Students may be required to seek professional guidance/rehabilitation as a condition of enrollment/re-enrollment in school or other alternative education program provided by the district.
    • Prescription Drugs and Other Medication: Any student who must take medication during the regular school day shall do so in accordance with the district procedure concerning the administration of medications. Also, see the health services section of this handbook.
    • Community Involvement: EWSD shall provide for a program to inform the community about alcohol and other drug abuse prevention, intervention and education programs, and community-wide responsibility for effective alcohol and drug abuse prevention.

Discipline Procedures for Alcohol, Drug Use, and/or Possession

  • Below is an excerpt from EWSD Policy C2: Alcohol and Drugs. Substance Abuse is the use of any drugs and/or alcohol in such a way that it interferes with a person’s ability to perform physically, intellectually, emotionally, or socially. Drug means any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana or any other controlled substance as defined by state or federal regulation or statute.

    First Offense

    1. Parents/guardians will be notified and the student sent home for the remainder of the day. The student must be picked up by a parent/guardian, social services, medical, or law enforcement agency.
    2. Notification under Emergency Conditions: if, in the opinion of the principal (or designee), an emergency situation exists, an area rescue squad and/or the local police will be called. The parent/guardian will be notified prior to such action when possible, and in all other instances as soon as possible thereafter.
    3. Suspension for up to 10 days. Notification of Police: the principal or designee will notify the Essex Police Department in any instances of suspected or actual alcohol or drug use, possession, or distribution that would violate state laws.
    4. Upon re-entry to school, the student, parent/guardian must meet with an administrator, the school’s Substance Abuse Provider (if available), and show evidence of an appointment with a substance abuse counseling program. The student must comply with the counseling program’s treatment recommendations.
    5. Exclusion for 90 days from co- and extracurricular activities.  This applies to events sponsored by the school regardless of location. This can be modified to 30 days upon complying with recommendations from an outside counseling agency and in conjunction with the school SAP.
    6. While out of school, students are expected and responsible for all school related tasks. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their teachers and make appropriate plans for completion of assignments; students are encouraged to use the school website and/or email system.

     Second Offense - all of the above and:

    1. 10 days out-of-school suspension

    Third Offense - all of the above and:

    1. Minimum 10 days out-of-school suspension
    2. Further disciplinary action, up to and including: long-term suspension shall be recommended to the EWSD Superintendent


    CTE Program Specific Drug Testing Procedures: If there is reasonable suspicion a student is under the influence of, or in possession of, drug paraphernalia, the student will immediately be sent to the administrative office (nurse’s office if it appears to be a medical issue). In addition to any disciplinary consequences, the following will be followed:

    1. The day the student is referred to an administrator, they are required to provide a urine sample for drug screening at a clinic utilized by the school for this purpose. Until results are received, the student may not use tools or equipment, or be placed in situations wherein injury to self or others may occur. Programs at school where such tools, equipment, or situations are present include: Apprenticeships; paid work experiences; Auto Tech I and II; Building Tech I and II; Childhood Education/Human Services I and II; Cosmetology I, II and III; Dental Assisting I and II; Driver Education; Graphic Design/Digital Publishing I and II; Natural Resources I and II; Pre-Tech; and Pro Foods I and II.
    2. In all school programs, a student shall not be placed on a paid or unpaid experience, and shall not be recommended for employment until/unless drug screening results are negative.
    3. If screening results are positive, tainted, or diluted, the student must agree to cease use of drugs and submit to additional drug screening to document the cessation of drug use until a negative drug screen is obtained.
    4. Drug screening results must be negative and remain negative for the student to continue in the program.
    5. Additional random drug screening may be required.
    6. A second positive, tainted, or diluted drug screen shall result in a meeting with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) to review program placement.

    Refusal to agree to drug screening shall result in removal from the program.

Discipline Procedures for Alcohol, Drug Sale, and/or Distribution

  • The following procedures will apply when a student is found selling  and/or distributing alcohol or other drugs on school property or at school-sponsored activities, and will accrue during the entire school career of the student.  School property includes all school buildings, athletic fields, and parking areas. School-sponsored activities include all athletic and co- and extracurricular activities and events, regardless of location.  

     First Offense

    1. 10 day suspension from school
    2. Parent/guardian/law enforcement notification. The principal may recommend long-term suspension to the School Board.
    3. If the student returns to school, all policies relating to drug use and/or possession First Offense also apply.

     Second Offense

    1. Suspension and recommendation for long-term suspension.  The student will be suspended or placed in an alternative educational setting until the School Board makes a decision on long-term suspension.
    2. Police notification
    3. Parent/guardian conference

    If the student returns to school, all drug use and/or possession Second Offense procedures apply.

    Participants in athletics and co-curricular activities will face additional consequences as outlined in the school’s athletic eligibility, rules, and will be referred to the Athletic Director and/or activity advisor or coach.

    Discipline Procedures for Tobacco Use and/or Possession

    In addition to the EWSD policy on Possession and Use of Tobacco Products, the following apply when a student is found in violation of the policy:

    • Time in planning room, time-out, or in-school suspension
    • Notification of parents/guardians
    • Notification of law enforcement (if appropriate)
    • Referral to appropriate school personnel
    • Repeat offenders will be subject to suspension

    Participants in athletics and co-curricular activities will face additional consequences as outlined in the school’s athletic eligibility, rules, and will be referred to the Athletic Director and/or activity advisor or coach.