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AP 331

Drugs and Controlled Substance Abuse

Background


The purpose of this procedure is to outline a comprehensive strategy to prevent the use of controlled substances including all prohibited drugs and alcohol by students in the Abbotsford School District. This is inclusive of e-Cigarettes and medicinal marijuana. All students, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, have the right to attend school in an environment conducive to learning in safe, caring and orderly schools.

Procedures


1. The principal of a school is responsible for ensuring that the Board’s policy statement on drugs will be communicated to students and parents at the beginning of each school year.

2. The principal of a school is responsible for ensuring that students and parents are advised that lockers may be subject to searches at any time, including searches using drug detection dogs, to ensure compliance with the school district policy on drugs and in the safety interests of students or staff. Students and parents must be advised that students are not obliged to obtain a school locker, but that if a student obtains a school locker, they do so on the condition that it may be subject to random searches and that it is to be used only for authorized purposes. This policy will also be outlined in each student’s handbook. See Appendix AP 331-1 Rules Regarding Student Lockers: Conditions of Use.

3. A student who is under the influence of, or using drugs, or who is promoting, selling or distributing such a substance during school hours or at a school-sponsored event, will be disciplined in accordance with the District’s disciplinary policy.

4. In addition to the imposition of discipline, the school district may, depending upon the circumstances of the case, report to the police the circumstances of any use, possession, sale or distribution of drugs.

5. A principal or vice-principal may conduct or authorize a search of a student, personal property, cell phone/other electronic device, or locker if it is believed the student is breaking a school rule. All searches must be conducted in accordance with the procedures set out in this procedure or AP 332, “Search and Seizure”.

5.1 The following are examples of what may constitute reasonable grounds in this context:
• information believed to be credible received from a student
• a teacher’s or administrator's observation
• any combination of sources of information (including drug detection dogs in respect to lockers used by students) that the principal or vice-principal considers to be credible.

5.2 Where the principal, vice-principal or designate intends to conduct a search of a student, the following guidelines will be observed:
• the reason and purpose of the search or interview will be clearly stated to the student(s);
• the search will be conducted in a private area in a respectful manner which recognizes the right to be treated fairly. The use of threats is not permitted.
• searches will be conducted in the presence of a second adult, including an adult of the same gender. In a case where sexual orientation or gender identity needs to be considered, the student will be asked which adults they wish to conduct the search.
• a reasonable attempt will be made to contact the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) prior to the search.
• In any case where a police officer is interviewing a student, school administrators must attempt to notify parents prior, and an adult must be present during such an interview if parents cannot be present.

6. Consequences

6.1 First Drug Offence - Students found in the possession of or under the influence of drugs the first time, will normally be suspended for up to 5 days during which a Level 2 Suspension (Principal’s Board of Review) will take place.

  • 6.1.1 During that time the student will: 
    • be referred to the YMCA Alternative Suspension Program Grade 6-12 (middle school referrals for drug related suspensions only)
     • be assigned a case manager who will ensure that the educational assignment is complete, and
    • complete an impact statement which outlines the effect of their actions on self, school and family.
    • agree to the school’s reintegration plan (see section 7.4)
    • As well, the student will be encouraged to successfully complete an intervention program. (e.g. Impact, Abbotsford Restorative Justice, Abbotsford Addictions Community Services)
  • 6.1.2 Students who are found distributing or selling drugs the first time, will normally be suspended for an indefinite period of time and referred to a Level 3 Suspension (District Board of Review). During this suspension it is expected that the schools will continue to provide an educational program.
  • 6.1.3 The student will be encouraged to successfully complete an intervention program. (e.g. Abbotsford Restorative Justice, Impact or Abbotsford Addictions Services). 

6.2 Second Drug Offense - Students found in possession of or under the influence of drugs a second time, will be suspended for up to 5 days during which a second Level 2 Hearing (Principal’s Board of Review) will take place.

  • 6.2.1 During this suspension the school must reevaluate the student’s support network at the school and community level, as well as the student’s educational program. If the school feels as though they have exhausted all resources, or an alternate placement is necessary, the YCW for Transitions will be consulted and referral for alternate placement may be made.
  • 6.2.2 During that time the student will:
    • be referred to the YMCA Alternative Suspension Program Grade 6-12 (middle school referrals for drug related suspensions only)
    • be assigned a case manager who will ensure that the educational assignment is complete, and
    • complete an impact statement which outlines the effect of their actions on self, school and family.
  • 6.2.3 The normal conditions for re-admission are:
    • evidence that the student can succeed in a school environment without further abuse of drugs, such as proof of enrollment in an approved intervention program
    • completion of all assigned work
    • completion of an impact statement
    • school-based contract by the receiving school
    • Agree to the school’s reintegration plan
    • Upon return from a second L2 suspension, the student will be connected to a healthy adult within the school building for regular check-ins. A block of LSS support (alternate, academic, counseling, etc) a day is recommended for the student’s timetable.

6.3 Third Drug Offence - Students who are found in possession of or under the influence of drugs a third time, will normally be suspended for an indefinite period of time and referred back to the Assistant Superintendent who convened the initial Level 3 Board of Review.

  • 6.3.1 In accordance with the School Act, the Board may:
    •place students under 16 in a home study program for a specified period of time
    • refuse “to offer an education program” to those students who are 16 years of age or older
    • In most cases the YCW for Transitions will attend a Level 3 BOR in order to support students and their families. The YCW will also ensure the successful transition to a new placement is completed if necessary.

7. An effective drug prevention strategy encompasses three aspects: prevention, intervention and rehabilitation.

7.1 Prevention

  • 7.1.1 The school district supports Health Canada’s principles of effective substance use problem prevention programs:
    • Address protective factors, risk factors and resiliency:
    • Tie activities to complementary efforts in the community for a holistic approach
    • Young people need to see themselves, and to be seen by others, as their own best resource for preventing and minimizing harmful effects associated with substance use.
    • Both explicit and implied messages need to be viewed as realistic and credible by participants, and need to be delivered by credible messengers.
    • Provide students with drug information that is scientifically accurate, objective, non-biased and presented without value judgment.
    • Provide students with accurate information and strategies for developing skills such as communication, decision-making, problem-solving, conflict resolution, goal setting, stress management, assertiveness, and other personal health-related behaviours.
    • Engage parents and provide them with accurate information and strategies for their children to develop skills such as communication, decision-making, problem-solving, conflict resolution, goal setting, stress management, assertiveness, and other personal health-related behaviours.
    • It is important that programs discuss the reasons people use drugs and present alternatives to drug use, as well as consequences for risk taking behaviours.
    • Increase awareness of resources available for those motivated to reduce or quit use and support access to services.
    • Allow students to practice resisting negative influences and refusing drugs; reward students for positive behaviours.
    • Provide an opportunity for students to discuss and practice becoming positive peer models, and promote positive peer relationships.
    • Deliver a clear and consistent ‘no use at school’ message and provide alternatives to suspension for students who break this school rule.
    • Enhance communications and connections between the home, parents, students, school, and the community to provide opportunity for multi-level prevention strategies.
  • 7.1.2 The district believes in the asset building approach to prevention. The asset building approach recognizes that many behaviours of young people are shaped by powerful factors within the family, peer group, school and community. The asset building approach works to minimize those factors that increase the risk of harmful behaviours (risk factors), and builds on those factors that help to protect young people from harmful behaviours by either reducing impact of the risks or by changing the way they respond to the risks (protective factors).
  • 7.1.3 The district is also embracing practices pertinent to Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) systems as well as Response to Intervention (RTI) techniques. In partnership with the ministry of education’s ERASE Bullying campaign, we remain committed to promoting safe and caring school cultures. In completing our own research through the 100% Project, understanding and knowledge around risk and protective factors has increased.
     
  • ​7.1.3.1 Risk factors:
    •School suspensions and suspendible behaviours
    • Frequent absences from school
    • Frequent school moves
    • Being in foster care
    • Being identified as having a designation (LSS, ELL, Aboriginal)
    • Poor academic skill level or demonstration
    • Identified social emotional needs
    • Early and persistent antisocial behaviour
    • Negative peer influences
    • Lack of parent support or engagement; poor home-school connection
  • 7.1.3.2 Protective factors:
    • Parent Engagement and positive connections between home, school and community
    • Learning Support Services Programs, including counselling
    • Alternate Education Programs
    • Progress Monitoring (ex: check my mark)
    • Clear and consistent standards for behaviours and strong norms against drug use
    • Problem solving and interpersonal skills
    • Meaningful involvement in caring activities, such as service to others
    • A sense of purpose and a positive view of personal future
    • Extra-curricular programs and activities that promote school engagement
  • 7.1.4 All schools in the Abbotsford district will implement prevention education programming. In understanding that healthy connections are the greatest prevention strategies for students, district staff will ensure all schools are following a prevention program suitable for their school community. The recommended approaches at each level include:
    • Positive Behaviour Support Grades K-12
    • Virtues and Character Schools Grades K-12
    • Lions Quest and Assets Grades K-12
    • Roots of Empathy Grades K-8
    • MindUp Grades K-8
    • HeartSmart Kids Grades K-6
    • Most Kids Don’t Grades K-5
    • Iminds Grades 6-10
    • YMCA Alternative Suspension Grades 9-12
    • Youth Smart Steps Grades 8-12
    • Interior Health Tobacco Library Grades 8-12
    • Mindcheck.ca Grades 8-12
    • Crystal Clear Drug Prevention Society Grades 5-12

Other Resources
• BC Centre for Safe Schools and Communities
• BC Cancer Agency Prevention Programs - Healthy Living Schools
• www.BCcancer.bc.ca
• www.carbc.ca

7.2 Intervention

  • 7.2.1 Students violating this procedure shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the established School Code of Conduct and with relevant district regulations.
  • 7.2.2 Drug detection dogs from an accredited organization may be used to detect illegal substances or dangerous objects in lockers used by students where the school administrators or their designates consider such action to be in the interests of student safety or the maintenance of a safe school environment.
  • 7.2.3 The principal, vice-principal or a Board-approved designate may conduct random locker searches to ensure compliance with school board policy regarding drugs.
  • 7.2.4 Drug detection dogs from an accredited organization may also be used in other areas on school premises (including parking lots) and on unattended property found on school premises, but only in circumstances where school administrators or their designates have a reasonable suspicion that the search will result in the detection of illegal substances or dangerous objects.

7.3 Restorative Practices

  • 7.3.1 The Abbotsford School District will work in concert with other agencies to ensure students who engage in high-risk substance use behaviours are supported and a healthy and relationship with their school and their school community is repaired. Organizations such as Abbotsford Restorative Justice, Impact, YMCA Alternative Suspension, Community Services, SACRO and other youth-serving agencies, may be called upon to assist us in helping redirect, support, and counsel students with drug and associated problem behaviours. The goal is for these students to change their ways for the sake of their personal well-being, the overall health of the school community, and to facilitate and support students in returning safely to school with a view for them to continue and complete their education.

7.4 Reintegration Plans

  • 7.4.1 When a student has been suspended for a serious matter like drugs it breaks the trust between the school and the student. Therefore, the school may require the student to demonstrate evidence of good behaviour and a drug-free lifestyle until trust is restored.
  • 7.4.2 Some possible strategies for this include the following:
    • Check any backpacks or personal bags with Vice Principal each morning
    • Check cell phones or other requested devices each morning with Vice Principal
    • Lose locker privileges
    • Agree to random respectful searches of pockets etc
    • Remain on campus and possibly in a defined location during unsupervised times
    • Arrive after the bell and leave before the bell
    • Strict expectation regarding classroom and academic performance
    • Daily check-ins with an identified adult in the building

7.5 Special considerations must be made in situations where a suspended student has a Learning Support Services designation, is Aboriginal, or has existing outside agency support. School administrators must be collaborative and work with a student’s integrated careteam where applicable.

Appendix


AP 331-1 Rules Regarding Student Lockers: Conditions of Use

References


AP 520 – Video Surveillance in Schools

AP 332 – Search and Seizure

AP 333 – Student Suspensions

Student Code of Conduct - Board Policy 15

(Last Revised: December 2016)

 

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