Administrative Procedure 356: Substance Abuse by Students

Legal References

Education Act: Section 265 Duties of Principal; Education Act: Part XIII Behaviour, Discipline and Safety; O. Reg. 37/01 Expulsion of a Pupil; O. Reg. 106/01 Suspension of a Pupil; Guideline - Ontario Schools Code of Conduct; Criminal Code (Canada); Smoke-Free Ontario Act; Controlled Drugs and Substances Act; Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017; Cannabis Control Act 2017; Cannabis Act 2018

Related References

Administrative Procedure (AP) 150 Smoking and Vaping on Board Premises; AP 351 Code of Conduct; AP 352 Promoting Positive Student Behavior Including Progressive Discipline and Bullying Prevention and Intervention; AP 353 Student Suspension; AP 354 Student Expulsion; AP 364 Search and Seizure Guidelines; Police/School Board Protocol (Appendix B, AP 351); Form 356A Smoke-Free Ontario Act Notification; Form 356B Smoking on School Property: School-Issued Warning Letter Following a First Offence; Form 356C Supplying Tobacco to Minors: School-Issued Warning Letter Following a First Offence

1. Care of Students

1.1 The Director of Education has established this administrative procedure because of Avon Maitland District School Board’s interest in the health of all students as well as their social, personal and legal well-being.

1.2 Alcohol, narcotics, cannabis and/or restricted or licit drugs other than those medically prescribed for the intended user, are not to be used by or to be in the possession of or shared, sold or distributed to individuals on school property or while at a school sanctioned event.

1.3 Smoking and/or vaping of e-cigarettes, tobacco, medical and/or recreational cannabis is not permitted on school property, or while part of any school related activity.

1.4 This procedure has three principal goals:

1.4.1 To design a curriculum to advocate for the prevention of tobacco, cannabis and vaping products, alcohol and other drug problems;
1.4.2 To identify and intervene where possible in the drug problems of students for whom preventative measures have been unsuccessful; and
1.4.3 To comply with legislation, and district procedures with respect to disciplinary actions regarding infractions involving tobacco, cannabis for recreational use, vaping products, alcohol, drugs, or other banned substances or licit drugs including prescription medication not for the intended user.

1.5 The Director of Education and district staff members support practices that prevent or reduce the harmful use of tobacco, cannabis for recreational use, vaping products, alcohol, and other drugs by influencing students to adopt healthy lifestyles.


2. Procedures

2.1 Definitions

In this procedure, unless otherwise stated:

School property means not only a school building and property, but includes out of classroom programs, activities, and facilities approved by or under the jurisdiction of the district;
Principal means a principal or their delegate as appropriate;
Parent means a parent/legal guardian of a student who is a minor;
Reasonable and probable grounds means the reasonable conclusion reached by a responsible adult;
Alcohol means all substances defined as liquor in the Liquor Licence Act;
Drugs means the following:
      • All substances that are listed in the Narcotic Control Act and Cannabis Act;
      • All "controlled drugs" and "restricted drugs" as defined and listed in the Food and Drugs Act;
      • Inhalants – used for the purpose of intoxication; and
      • Steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs;

Tobacco Product means tobacco in any processed or unprocessed form that may be smoked, inhaled, absorbed or chewed but does not apply to products intended for use in nicotine replacement therapy that have been approved by Health Canada;
Licit means within the law;
Medical cannabis means cannabis for medicinal purposes, authorized by a physician/nurse practitioner for use in managing and treating illness;
Vaping Product means an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), an e-substance or any component of an e-cigarette. An e-cigarette is a vapourizer or inhalant-type device that contains a power source and heating element designed to heat a substance and produce a vapour intended to be inhaled by the user whether or not the vapour contains nicotine;
Cannabis means any part of the cannabis plant as defined within the Cannabis Act;
Search of the student's locker and personal effects means a search of a student's personal belongings found on school property, exclusive of the person of the student, with a witness present;
Suspension is the temporary exclusion of a student from their school and from engaging in all school-related activities for a period from one (1) to twenty (20) school days; and
Expulsion means that a student is not entitled to attend a particular school, or any school in the province, or to engage in school-related activities of any school in the province until they meet such requirements as may be established by regulation for returning to school after being expelled.
2.2 Preventive Education
2.2.1 The goal of a preventive education program is to reduce the incidence of alcohol and/or other drug-related problems among students by implementing a preventive education curriculum and associated activities. This program will encourage students to make decisions that promote a healthy lifestyle.

2.2.2 The preventive education program shall begin at the primary division and extend through the Ontario secondary school curriculum.

2.3 Early Intervention into Alcohol and/or Other Drug Problems

Early intervention may reduce the use of alcohol and drugs likely to cause problems and the number of existing cases of alcohol and drug related problems. Students with problems that arise from the use of alcohol and/or drugs will be referred to and encouraged to make use of appropriate assessment and counselling services.

2.4 Disciplinary Action

2.4.1 A goal of disciplinary action is to protect the health and safety of all students by deterring students from using, selling, sharing or distributing and/or possessing alcohol, cannabis for recreational use, and/or illegal or licit drugs including prescription medication for the unintended user on board property or at board-sponsored events, and from accessing board property or attending such events while being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

2.4.2 Disciplinary action is also intended to confront students with the consequences of their actions as well as to encourage the adoption of healthy life styles.

2.5 Violations

Violations may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Use of tobacco or cannabis for recreational use or medicinal use for the non-intended user;
    2. Vaping of any substance;
    3. Possession of alcohol and/or drugs for non-medical use;
    4. Being under the influence of alcohol, cannabis and/or illegal or licit drugs, including prescription medication for non-medical use;
    5. Distribution or sharing of alcohol, tobacco, vaping products and/or cannabis, or illegal or licit drugs including prescription medication for the unintended user on school property;
    6. Selling of alcohol, tobacco, vaping products and/or cannabis, illegal or licit drugs including prescription medication for the unintended user on school property;
    7. Use of inhalants for the purpose of intoxication; and
    8. Use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

2.6 The Use, Supply, Sharing or Possession of Tobacco

2.6.1 Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act makes it illegal for anyone to sell or supply tobacco or vaping products to any person under nineteen (19) years of age.

2.6.2 Under the Act, in order to protect children from second hand smoke and vapour, the smoking of or holding lighted tobacco and the use of e-cigarettes to vape any substance is not allowed in public schools, neither within buildings nor on their grounds, or within the public areas within twenty (20) metres from the perimeter of the grounds. Administrative Procedure 150 Smoking and Vaping on Board Premises supports the Act and declares that all board buildings, vehicles and grounds are smoke and vape-free environments for the board's staff members, students and visitors. This includes all vehicles parked on board property.

2.6.3 The sale, distribution, sharing or supply of tobacco or vaping products and e-cigarettes on board property, including schools and school grounds, is not permitted.

2.6.4 Related information will be communicated orally and in writing by the principal or designate to all students at the beginning of the school year, in writing to all parents/guardians, and by signage or symbol to all visitors. This communication will constitute a first warning.

2.6.5 The principal will ensure that no smoking/no vaping signage is posted at each entrance and exit at the school and in washrooms. Contact the Huron or Perth Health Units if additional signage is required.

2.6.6 For a first offence of smoking or holding lit tobacco, vaping, or supplying a tobacco or vaping product on school property during a school year, witnessed and verified by a district staff member, the principal or designate shall confiscate the tobacco, prepare Form 356A Smoke-Free Ontario Act Notification, and communicate said notification to the Huron County Health Unit or Perth District Health Unit.

2.6.7 The principal or designate shall also forward a prescribed letter of concern stating the specific offence to the student offender, (if 18 years of age or older), or otherwise to the student's parent/guardian. The letters to be used are either Form 356B Smoking on School Property: School-Issued Warning Letter Following a First Offence or Form 356C Supplying Tobacco to Minors: School-Issued Warning Letter Following a First Offence. This communication constitutes a second warning.

2.6.8 For any subsequent offence of smoking or holding lit tobacco, or use of vaping product, or supplying tobacco or vaping products on school property, during a school year, witnessed and verified by a district staff member, the principal or designate shall:
      1. Confiscate the product; and
      2. Notify the Smoke-Free Ontario Act Enforcement Officer using Form 356A Smoke-Free Ontario Act Notification.
2.6.9 The Tobacco Enforcement Officer may proceed with legal action.

2.6.10 Whether or not the Tobacco Enforcement Officer is able to act, the principal or designate may administer, at any point in the above process, whatever disciplinary measures are deemed to be appropriate.

2.6.11 In order to prevent supply or misuse, the possession or storage of tobacco or vaping product on school property will be at the principal's discretion and governed by the procedure stated by the principal in any student, staff, or parent handbook or in any notices given to the general public.

2.6.12 Simple possession is not reportable to the Perth District Health Unit or the Huron County Health Unit.

2.7 The Use, Supply, Sharing or Possession of Recreational Cannabis

2.7.1 The Cannabis Control Act 2017 prohibits any individual under the age of 19 from consuming, selling, buying, possessing, sharing, distributing or growing cannabis.
2.7.2 The sale, distribution, sharing or supply, or possession of cannabis on board property, including schools and school grounds, is not permitted.
2.7.3 Related information will be communicated orally and in writing by the principal or designate to all students at the beginning of the school year, in writing to all parents/guardians. This communication will constitute the warning.
2.7.4 Administrators or staff shall follow the Police/School Board Protocol and will call Police for any of the infractions listed in 2.7.1.
2.7.5 Administration shall determine disciplinary measures required and notify parents (see Administrative Procedure 353 or 354).
2.7.6 Administrators who confiscate cannabis product shall provide the product(s) to the responding official.

2.8 Possession of Medical Cannabis

2.8.1 Possession of recreational cannabis is allowed under the conditions set out in Administrative Procedure 315.

2.9 Action Required under the Police-School Board Protocol.

2.9.1 Police Response Required and Suspension Pending Possible Expulsion must be considered.
 
Incident Police Response School Principal's Response*
Alcohol - providing to minors Required Suspension pending possible expulsion must be considered
Trafficking selling, sharing distribution of alcohol, cannabis and/or illegal or licit drugs including prescription medication, in weapons or illegal drugs Required Suspension pending possible expulsion must be considered

2.9.2 Police Response Required and Suspension must be considered.
 
Incident Police Response School Principal's Response*
Alcohol – possessing alcohol Required (If under 19) Suspension must be considered
Alcohol or Illegal Drugs – being under the influence of alcohol or illegal or licit drugs with the exception of a medical cannabis user Required (If under 19) Suspension must be considered
Drugs–possession of an illegal or licit drug with the exception of an intended medical cannabis user Required (If under 19) Suspension must be considered

2.9.3 *Mitigating and Other Circumstances

All mitigating and other factors must be considered by the principal or vice principal, where appropriate, before deciding whether to impose a suspension or a suspension pending a possible expulsion. The mitigating and other factors are outlined in AP353 Student Suspension Section 4, Factors to Consider Before Deciding to Impose a Suspension and in AP354 Student Expulsion Section 3, Mitigating and Other Factors.

3. Use of Inhalants for the Purpose of Intoxication

Where a principal believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a student is using inhalants for the purpose of intoxication, the principal shall:

3.1 First Infraction:

    1. Conduct a search of the student's locker and personal effects with a witness;
    2. Consider suspending the student;
    3. Contact the parents to remove the child from school, if the student is a minor;
    4. If unable to contact the parents, or if the student is over the age of 18, the principal shall contact another responsible adult or the police, to take the student home safely;
    5. Inform the student and parents of counselling services available; and
    6. Record the infraction in Maplewood.

3.2 Second Infraction:

    1. Contact the police;
    2. Consider suspending the student;
    3. Contact the parents if the student is a minor;
    4. If unable to contact the parents, or if the student is over the age of 18, the principal shall contact another responsible adult or the police, to take the student home safely;
    5. Arrange for suitable counselling for the student; and
    6. Record the infraction in Maplewood.

3.3 Subsequent Infractions:

Continued infractions may be viewed as conduct so refractory that the student's presence is injurious to other students, and this may lead to expulsion.

4. Use of Steroids and other Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Where a principal believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a student appears to be using performance and/or appearance-enhancing drugs without medical prescription and supervision, the principal may:

4.1 Contact the police;
4.2 Conduct a search of the student's locker and personal effects with a witness;
4.3 Ban the student from competition and access to extra-curricular school fitness facilities for twelve (12) months from the date of infraction;
4.4 Contact the parents if the student is under the age of 18;
4.5 Refer the student to the family physician or a community resource agency;
4.6 Record the infraction in the Maplewood; and
4.7 Not re-admit the student to the inter-school sport program or extra-curricular fitness facilities until:
      • The twelve months have expired;
      • The student declares that they have been drug free for a period of one (1) year; and
      • A letter has been received from a community resource agency stating that the student has completed a counselling program.
 
Amendment April 2019