Student Substance Use and Possession

NEPN/NSBA Code: JICH

The Yarmouth School Department recognizes the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco/electronic smoking devices on the development, health, wellness and education of students. The department recognizes the issue as a medical, public health, legal, ethical and safety issue that can adversely impact the health and safety of students and the learning environment provided to students. The department’s primary mission is to provide a learning environment free from the effects of these substances and acknowledges its role as a partner in a broader cooperative effort among community members, law enforcement, community organizations, students and parents.

In order to promote the safety, health, and overall well-being of the students of Yarmouth, the department endorses a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of drug, alcohol and tobacco/electronic smoking device use. This approach will utilize a variety of methodologies including, but not limited to, prevention/education; intervention, counseling and addressing the causes of associated substance use behaviors; promoting positive choice making; assisting in the self-recognition of a problem by a student; restitution to the school and broader community for negative impacts; and discipline. The Superintendent, in conjunction with his/her designee(s), shall be charged with the responsibility for developing procedures, curricula, and programming to implement this policy. The Superintendent, in conjunction with his/her designee(s), shall be responsible for developing and maintaining supportive partnerships with organizations/entities/agencies to support this policy.

The department will act to support students in a fashion that supports their individual physical, social and emotional well-being to promote a learning environment which is supportive of student success academically. The objective will be to support students in abstaining from the use of tobacco/electronic smoking devices, alcohol, controlled and illegal substances; aiding in the early detection and intervention of substance use problems; supporting students in engaging in activities that create healthy outcomes; and providing disciplinary action when deemed appropriate. Compliance with this policy is mandatory.

1. Scope of Purview
    A.  The Yarmouth School Department’s primary mission on behalf of students is one of education, and its general jurisdiction is primarily limited to school hours, at school sponsored activities or events, and while on school property. The department reserves the authority to implement procedures, rules and/or regulations, and restrictions in support of maintaining an environment and campus that is free of alcohol, tobacco/electronic smoking devices and illegal substances. Events, behaviors and/or incidents that occur outside of this scope of purview are the primary responsibility of a student’s parents, law enforcement and the general community at large. 


    B.  The Yarmouth School Department also reserves the authority, as a requirement to participation in extra and/or co-curricular activities, to impose additional compliance requirements for students as it relates to the usage of alcohol, tobacco/electronic smoking devices or illegal substances. For requirements under this purview, please refer to Yarmouth School Department Policy JJ and JJ-R. 


    C.  The Yarmouth School Department also reserves its authority to take actions that are intended to protect and secure the safety, functioning and general well-being of the department and its educational environment.

2. Staff Responsibilities
    A.  Staff members are required to uphold and support this policy in its entirety as a condition of employment and/or involvement in a co/extracurricular activity. 


    B.  For the purpose of this policy and any relevant administrative procedures, staff members are defined as any individual who is employed by the Yarmouth School Department, who is an activity supervisor or coach, or an individual who supports any co/extracurricular activity. 


    C.  Staff members with a reasonable suspicion of a student violating this policy and/or having a substance use problem are required to notify the appropriate building administrator of their suspicion. 


    D.  Staff members will support the Department’s mission of assisting students in addressing those issues, which may precipitate substance use and or medical/behavioral health problems associated with substance use.

3. Prevention
    A.  The Yarmouth School Department will provide students with education, information and activities focused on making healthy, legal, safe and ethical choices as part of its curriculum and general mission. This will include, but is not limited to:

        i. Promoting abstention from the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco/electronic smoking devices.

        ii. Education on the health, educational, legal and social consequences/risks of the use and/or use of alcohol, tobacco/electronic smoking devices, and illegal drugs.

        iii. Education on the signs and signals of potential behavioral health disorders associated with potential and/or developed substance use.

        iv. Education on effective techniques for resisting peer pressure to use illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco/electronic smoking devices.

        v. Education on resources available through the school department to provide help for substance use issues.

        vi. The Yarmouth School Department will work in partnership with students, parents/guardians, community organizations such as boosters, law enforcement and the community at large to educate students on these risks and promote positive decision-making practices.

        vii. The Yarmouth School Department will help to facilitate access to outside resources, without bearing any financial responsibility, such as counseling for individuals at risk for or who have developed substance use issues.

4. Intervention
    A.  Student Support Team

        i. The Yarmouth School Department will utilize a multidisciplinary team approach to interventions with students who violate this policy and/or with substance use problems. Each building will establish an appropriate team which shall include at a minimum the building principal/assistant principal, substance use prevention counselor/social worker, the school nurse, and any other individuals deemed appropriate by the building administrator and/or the Superintendent.

      ii. The social worker assigned to the team will serve as the case manager for students who violate this policy or with substance use issues.

    iii. The substance use prevention counselor/social worker will review any non-clinical assessment and make recommendations concerning how to best proceed after a violation of policy has occurred.

   B. Students who violate this policy and/or have a substance use issue will be assisted in addressing those issues associated with substance use, related behavioral and medical issues, and in continuing their educational program.

    C. Students will be provided with information and referral, where appropriate, to aid them in obtaining assistance from qualified professionals and community organizations. Student records concerning such interventions shall be kept confidential as required by law.

5. Rules and Sanctions
    A.  Students are prohibited from consuming, possessing, furnishing, selling, receiving, buying, manufacturing or being under the influence of prohibited substances:

    i. During school hours;

    ii. On school property;

    iii. At school sponsored activities or events both on and off school property;

    iv. In any school-owned vehicle or in any other school-approved vehicle used to transport students to and from school or school activities or events;

    v. At any other event or function (such as a field trip or athletic event) where students are under the jurisdiction of the school department; or

    vi. At any time or place if the conduct directly interferes with the operation, discipline or welfare of the schools.

    B. The term “prohibited substance” shall include, but not be limited to:

    i. Alcohol;

    ii. Scheduled drugs (as defined in 17A MRSA § 1101);

    iii. Controlled substances (as defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC § 812);

    iv. Bath Salts (as defined in 1.22 MRSA §§2390 to 2394);

    v. Tobacco/Electronic smoking devices;

    vi. Any performance-enhancing substance listed on the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ banned substances list and any other substance which is illegal in Maine or the use of which is illegal for minors;

vii. Prescription drugs not prescribed for the student and/or not in compliance with the School Committee’s policy on administering medications to students (see policy JLCD);

viii. Any substance which can affect or change a student’s mental, physical or behavior pattern, including but not limited to volatile materials such as glue, paint or aerosols (when possessed for the purpose of inhalation) or steroids;

    ix. Paraphernalia – implements used for distribution or consumption of a prohibited substance; or

    x. Any look-a-like drug or substance that is described as or is purported to be a prohibited substance defined in this section.

6. Violations
    A.  Any violation of the terms of this policy shall constitute sufficient grounds for student discipline, including suspension or expulsion from school, at the appropriate discretion of the administration and the School Committee. 


    B.  Violations of this policy are cumulative for students in grades 5-8 and 9-12 but do not carry over between these grade spans. 


    C.  Appropriate law enforcement authority shall also be notified of violations of this policy.
Participants in co-and/or extracurricular activities must abide by this policy and are subject to additional rules and sanctions (see Policy JJ and JJ-R).

7. Policy Dissemination
    A.  On an annual basis this policy shall be available to all students, parents/legal guardians, and staff members (including activity supervisors and coaches) through the school department website/policy manual.



Legal References:

21 USC 812 (Controlled Substance Act);

21 CFR Part 1300.1115

20 USC 7101 et seq. (Safe Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act);

17A MRSA 1101:

42 USC 290dd2;

42 CFR 2.1 et seq.;

20A MRSA 1001(9); 4008

22 MRSA 1578B;

Me PL 470 (An Act to Reduce Tobacco Use by Minors); 20 USC 6081 (Pro-Children Act of 2001);

1. 22 MRSA §§2390 to 2394 (Bath Salts)



Cross Reference:

JIC: System-Wide Student Code of Conduct

JICH-R: Student Substance Use and Possession Administrative Procedures

JJ: Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Programs

JJ-R: Extra-Curricular Code of Conduct





Adopted: April 11, 1988

Adopted: April 11, 1988

Revised: June 8, 1992, May 25, 1995, May 25, 2007, October 28, 2010, March 12, 2018