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"A School Rich in Tradition"
Substance Abuse Policy
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION
Sacred Heart High School takes seriously its stated mission to "present students a respectful, secure, family environment that lays the groundwork for productive Christian citizens who have a positive influence on their community today and tomorrow." Furthermore, it is our goal to assist each and every student with the basic skills and attitudes necessary to live a full, productive, and satisfying life. To accomplish this, it is necessary to impact not only the academic, but also the social, emotional, physical, and most importantly, the spiritual growth of our students.
One of the great concerns for schools today, both in west central Missouri and nationwide, is the frightening increase in substance abuse among teenagers. This is an increase that has occurred despite this generation being the best-informed generation ever regarding the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
Drug abuse is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States and seems to be becoming a problem with younger students. While statistics can be most disconcerting, it is important to remember that the majority of youth are not involved with illegal substances. However, it takes only a brief conversation with local law enforcement officials to realize that problems related to substance abuse are increasing despite the educational efforts of schools and communities. It has become increasingly evident that education alone is not enough in stemming this tide among young people. Consequently, SHS takes a strong, pro-active stance to offer protection to students from the dangers that accompany the possession, use, or sale of illegal substances.
In establishing a pro-active substance abuse policy, Sacred Heart School believes that:
1) It is our responsibility as a school community to strive to establish and provide a drug free environment in which to educate our children. At Sacred Heart School, it is necessary for the older students to be positive role models for the younger students. It is our aim to send the message to ALL students that it is perfectly normal to lead a drug-free lifestyle.
2) The use of alcohol and illicit drugs (and/or look-alike drugs) and the problems associated with them are becoming increasingly commonplace in the youth of our society. An individual's own substance abuse or that of a loved one can have serious and life-long consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a policy of protection and deterrence in support of our young people.
3) The use of drugs is detrimental to the maintenance of high academic standards. Such behavior also leads to poor student performance and adversely affects school morale.
4) Students often need education, assistance, and support because of their own drug use or because of drug-related problems of their peers. Many students will require support for their decision to remain drug free. SHS offers education, access to programs, and/or assistance to the student body in general, and more specifically, assistance to any individual student displaying signs of harmful involvement.
Recognizing that Sacred Heart staff and faculty set an example for our students, they will be participants in the testing procedure. Full guidelines for the Substance Abuse Policy for faculty and staff can be found in the faculty handbook.
The primary message of this policy is protection and deterrence, not detection and punishment. It is important to remember that one of the goals of SHS is to help children develop into productive adults. Young people must learn that they are accountable for their own decisions. Finally, we believe that this Substance and Abuse Prevention Policy communicates to the community that Sacred Heart School maintains a standard of values and will assist our young people in protecting their youthful innocence in combating the temptations of today's society.
Initial Setup and Procedure
Grades 9 through 12 will be tested under the Substance Abuse and Prevention Program. Testing will occur unannounced and on a "random plus" basis. "Random plus" refers to a random drawing of names during a testing period plus any individual who at any time exhibits cause for reasonable suspicion of drug use, as determined by the principal with consultation of the Secondary Review Council. The school reserves the right to test any individual who at any time exhibits cause for reasonable suspicion of drug use, including 7th and 8th graders. Students may opt for self-referral, prior to mandatory testing, and not suffer the consequences outlined in this document. Parents/Guardians may request their child be tested at any time, at their own expense, and upon signing a waiver, and agreeing to provide the results to the school. All information gathered from the testing will be held in confidence between the school officials and the parents.
The test screen will determine if cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine are present in the sample.
Midwest Collections Specialists, Inc. of Sedalia, Missouri as the firm hired to coordinate this program for Sacred Heart School, will draw the random, computer driven sample and do collection of hair samples. Advance notice will not be given. Parents will be notified the morning of the test and given the opportunity to be present if they so choose. If parents cannot be reached, emergency card procedures will be utilized. Students will be notified the morning of the test as well. A detailed description of the testing procedure is available. This description includes the safeguards in place to protect against evasion and tampering, along with providing the most accurate result possible.
Midwest Collection Specialists will be utilized for the random draw process and the taking of hair samples. Bothwell Regional Health Center staff will be utilized for the urine test samples. A detailed description of both testing procedures is available. This description includes the safeguards in place to protect against evasion and tampering.
A monthly testing pattern, running from August through May, for a total of ten testing dates in each school year will be followed. Ten students and one adult will be tested on each of the scheduled testing dates. To get the widest testing distribution possible (while providing adequate deterrence measures), no individual would be eligible for testing more than twice in any given school year. However, the school reserves the right to test any individual who at any time exhibits cause for reasonable suspicion of drug use. Testing will utilize a combination of hair and urine sample testing. The general suggested ratio is 1 student hair samples and 9 student urine samples in each testing session.
School administration will be notified of all test results. The administration will then notify the student's parents/guardians. An individual testing positive may choose to have a test redone at his/her own expense provided the results are shared with the administrator. He/she may also choose to acquire the services of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) at his/her own expense.
A parent board, appointed by the school board will regulate the drug testing monies and the drug testing procedures and will plan educational activities for students and parents. This group will work closely with the counselor and communicate regularly with administration and school board.
1) Any student testing positive for drug use on a FIRST OFFENSE, through the school-wide testing program, will meet immediately with the Secondary Review Council (SRC) accompanied by the parents/guardians. The student will receive a five day in-school suspension, separated from other students but allowed to complete course work for full credit. In addition, six hours of community service per day of suspension will be administered by the SRC. The student and family must agree to a drug and alcohol assessment by a state-approved alcohol/drug agency and enroll in an educational or counseling program of at least ten hours duration. Proof of satisfactory completion of the counseling program must be provided. Where fees for service are involved, parents must accept responsibility for payment including the cost of drug testing for the two months following the suspension. The student will then be placed back on the "random plus" basis of testing. The school reserves the right to contact law enforcement after consultation with the Diocesan School Office.
2) Should any student test positive for drug use on a SECOND OFFENSE through the school-wide testing program, the parents will be contacted immediately upon verification of the violation. The student will be dismissed, with the possibility of reapplication to the school after following stipulations provided by the SRC or expelled. The Diocesan School Office will be notified and will approve the procedures. Any future re-enrollment would require the representation of evidence to the SRC that the student has received professional intervention to assist with illegal substance involvement and is drug-free. Students will be required to undergo drug testing every three months for one calendar year at their own expense. The school reserves the right to contact law enforcement after consultation with the Diocesan School Office.
3) A student who refuses to be tested will be dismissed from Sacred Heart with approval from the Diocesan School Office. Reapplication will be subject to guidelines developed by the SRC.
4) The student and parent/guardian must sign the Substance Abuse Prevention Policy agreement as part of the handbook contract to be enrolled in the school.
5) Any student found to be deliberately tampering with results or falsifying records will be dismissed from Sacred Heart after approval from the Diocesan School Office.
6) Any student who has removed all appropriate hair so as to hinder the facilitation of the hair sampling drug test will participate in a series of urine tests equivalent to the same ninety-day background as the hair sampling and to the life expectancy of the five drugs tested in the body. Excess costs of the urine tests will be borne by the student and parents/guardians. In addition, any test which is red-flagged (indicating suspected tampering by the student) will be subject to a re-test paid for by the parent/guardian.
An important feature of this program is that students and their family members are encouraged to contact the school counselor or administration for help with alcohol and illicit drug-related problems. Sacred Heart School offers an assurance that such contacts will be handled sensitively and in a spirit of confidentiality.
A student who self-refers to the school and who is making satisfactory progress in following the recommendations of a certified program will not be liable to the disciplinary actions if the self-referral occurs prior to a first offense against the stipulations of this policy and prior to having his/her name pulled for sampling.
It is the philosophy of this Board, Administration, and Staff of Sacred Heart School that participation in extra-curricular activities is a special privilege and carries an added responsibility of representing the school in a unique way. In keeping with this philosophy, we adhere to the following policy.
The possession or use of alcoholic beverages at school or while attending an SHS activity WILL result in immediate dismissal from SHS
Illegal Drugs, Look-Alike Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia
The possession or use of illegal drugs or look-alike drugs on campus or while attending an SHS activity WILL result in immediate dismissal or expulsion from SHS after consultation with the Diocesan School Office. Students possessing drug paraphernalia on campus or utilizing legal substances in a manner not intended for usage, will be required to meet with the SRC with possible offenses ranging from in-school suspension to dismissal. In the event a student does become involved in the possession and/or use of any illegal substance or drug paraphernalia, resulting in an arrest or conviction, the school shall deal with the matter on a case-by-case basis.
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