The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear and consistent guideline to encourage healthy choices centering on the possibility of chemical use. This applies to the entire AHA community.
A healthy environment provides the supporting structure needed to prevent the spread of chemical use and to promote intervention for those abusing chemicals. The policy encourages students and adults in the AHA community to take the lead in promoting a healthy environment through use of positive leadership and prudent judgment in implementing the policy.
This policy is for the entire AHA community: students, teachers, coaches, counselors, administrators, support staff, chaperones, parents and alumni. It covers use and abuse, dependency, education, counseling, and referral relating to alcohol and other mood-altering chemicals. All activities held on school property, any school-related events off school property, and information from police reports and other reliable reports regarding off-campus activity are covered by the policy.
(Please note: Students participating in AHA cocurricular activities must adhere to AHA requirements AND to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) rules on chemical use. See the Student Participation Responsibilities chapter in the Activities Handbook section of this Student and Parent Handbook. Scroll down to item 19—Mood Altering Chemicals for the MSHSL rules.)
Definition of “Mood-Altering Chemicals”
For purposes of this policy, the phrase "mood-altering chemicals" refers to the following:
Enforcement of AHA’s Chemical Policy
As per AHA's procedures about chemical use, these procedures will be enforced:
Procedures for Students Using, Possessing, Selling or Distributing Chemicals on AHA Campus
The following procedures will be followed if any student is discovered using, selling, distributing or in possession (i.e., on his/her person, locker, backpack or purse, or in a car) of mood-altering chemicals or paraphernalia associated with such chemicals on the Holy Angels campus or at any school-sponsored activity, including off campus games, dances, field trips, retreats or other activities.
The consequences imposed on a student for a violation of this policy are not appealable. Legal authorities will be contacted concerning any non-Holy Angels member possessing, selling or distributing mood-altering chemicals on campus or at any school-related functions.
Limited Exceptions for the Possession and Responsible Use of Certain Medications:
Procedures for Students Under the Influence of Mood-Altering Chemicals on AHA Campus
If a student is observed to be under the influence of alcohol or other mood-altering chemicals, but is not otherwise observed using, possessing, selling, or distributing alcohol or other mood-altering chemicals, the student will be required to participate in, and complete, a school-approved chemical education group and urine toxicology screening. See the “Chemical Violations Requirements and Penalties” section in this Handbook for more discussion of AHA’s policies regarding required chemical assessments.
Limited Exception for the Responsible Use of Certain Medications
No discipline will be imposed for the responsible use of prescription medications, over-the counter-medications, or self-administered medications if the student has the correct paperwork and authorization of the school nurse to use such medications and if such otherwise complies with AHA’s Medication During School Hours policies. (See the Medical Support section of this handbook for the Medication During School Hours policy.) Note that this exception does not apply to the sale or distribution of prescription medications, over-the counter medications, or self-administered medications, nor does this exception apply to the irresponsible use of prescription medications, over-the counter medications, or self-administered medication (e.g., taking more than the recommended or prescribed amount or administering the drug by an incorrect method)—even if the student possesses the correct paperwork and authorization of the school nurse to possess and use such medications.
Procedures for Violations at Off-Campus School Functions
The AHA Chemical Health Policy for students extends to the use and/or possession of any mood-altering chemicals on the AHA campus or at any school-sponsored activities, including but not limited to, off campus games and contests, dances, field trips, retreats, and other activities. Reports received from police departments are also included as off-campus violations. The procedures and consequences explained in the previous sections will be applied.
Procedures for Reported, but Unobserved Violations
If a staff member becomes aware, through police reports or other reliable reports, that a student is in violation of the school policy as it relates to the use of alcohol or other mood-altering chemicals, including activities occurring off-campus, but the staff member does not observe the student using, possessing, selling, distributing, or being under the influence of mood-altering chemicals, the following procedure will be followed:
Procedures for a person who expresses concern about his/her own use or another person's use
Procedures for a staff member or student concerned about possible mood-altering chemical use by a student at AHA
1. If a staff member is concerned about a student at AHA that is possibly using mood-altering chemicals, he/she should encourage the student to confer with a counselor, an agency, an administrator, or a person who knows about the effects of mood-altering chemicals.
2.The staff member also must make an immediate referral to the Guidance Department.
3. If a student is concerned about another AHA student's possible use of mood-altering chemicals, he/she should encourage the student to confer with a counselor, an agency, an administrator, or a person who knows about the effects of mood-altering chemicals. The concerned student also is encouraged to share the concern with a counselor.
4. When a counselor becomes aware of a concern regarding possible chemical use by a student, the counselor should meet with the student and make a professional determination of the scope of the problem and provide this information to the student and the student's parent(s)/guardian(s). The counselor also will make recommendations regarding next steps to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school administration.
The policy on tobacco is based on the fact that some students do use tobacco, often with their parent/guardian's knowledge and consent. The administration recognizes and is concerned about the effects of tobacco not only on the student who uses it but also on that of the entire community since the Academy of Holy Angels is a tobacco-free area. Smoking and use of tobacco including e-cigarettes and vaping delivery systems, are not permitted anywhere on campus or sidewalks surrounding the campus, on St. Peter's Church property in the local community around Holy Angels or at school-sponsored events regardless of student’s age.
An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, or vaping delivery system, is an alternative to smoking tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. It is a battery powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine or other chemicals by delivering a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine solution. In addition to nicotine delivery, this vapor also provides a flavor and physical sensation similar to that of inhaled tobacco smoke, while no tobacco, smoke, or combustion is actually involved in its operation. Essentially, an e-cigarette is a delivery system for nicotine, lobella or other chemicals. As with all tobacco products, it is illegal for minors to purchase, possess or attempt to purchase an e-cigarette.
A student who is holding an unlit cigarette or who, in the judgment of the staff member, has obviously been using tobacco (including smoke-free cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or vaping delivery system) or has just been smoking is subject to the same consequence as a student who has been found under the influence of a mood altering chemical, whether or not it occurs on-or-off campus and regardless of the student's age. A list of mood altering chemicals is found at the beginning of this policy.
In addition, the use of tobacco, like all other chemicals, is a violation of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Bylaw 205 and the Academy of Holy Angels Eligibility Rules in the current Student Handbook. The consequences for this first violation are as follows:
Chemical Violations Requirements and Penalties
Generally, the requirements and penalties for students with a chemical violation include three parts:
I. Education, Urine Toxicology Screen and Chemical Assessment,
II. Minnesota State High School League and AHA Penalties, and
III. AHA Leadership Penalties.
I. Education, Urine Toxicology Screen and Chemical Assessment:
Students receiving a chemical violation are required to participate in, and complete, a school-approved chemical education group and a Urine Toxicology Screen. In addition, a chemical assessment by a licensed chemical professional is highly recommended. The student must inform the chemical health counselor of the scheduled dates of their chemical education class and the Urine Toxicology Screen must be complete within 48 hours of being notified. All fees associated with the screening is the family's responsibility. If the student fails to provide the date or complete the screening within 48 hours, the student will be suspended until the class is completed and/or the screening is completed. During the suspension, the student will not be allowed to receive any class work and will receive no credit for any missing work during the suspension.
Urine Toxicology Screen (Required)
Chemical Assessment (Recommended but not required)
When a student has a chemical violation, a chemical assessment (where a student discusses his/her use background with a licensed chemical counselor) is highly recommended for family insight. It is not required.
A chemical assessment includes a detailed history of past use, the potential for continued use and a recommendation from the assessor regarding how best to treat the issue. The assessment should take place soon after the violation.
The AHA chemical health counselor can also provide a chemical assessment if desired by the family. If a chemical assessment is done through an outside agency, the AHA chemical health counselor can also be a partner for parents and students to discuss on-going needs for the student.
II. Minnesota State High School League and AHA Penalties:
First Violation: After confirmation of the first violation, the student shall lose eligibility for the next two (2) consecutive interscholastic contests or two (2) weeks of a season in which the student is a participant, whichever is greater. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. Additionally:
Second Violation: After confirmation of the second violation, the student shall lose eligibility for the next six (6) consecutive interscholastic contests in which the student is a participant or three (3) weeks (21 calendar days), whichever is greater. No exception is permitted for a student who becomes a participant in a treatment program. Additionally:
Third and Subsequent Violations: After confirmation of the third or subsequent violations, the student shall lose eligibility for the next twelve (12) consecutive interscholastic contests in which the student is a participant or four (4) weeks (28 calendar days), whichever is greater. If after the third or subsequent violations, the student has been assessed to be chemically dependent and the student on her/his own volition becomes a participant in a chemical dependency program or treatment program, and then the student may be certified for reinstatement in MSHSL activities after a minimum period of six (6) weeks. The director or a counselor of a chemical dependency treatment center must issue such certification. Additionally:
A student with an un-served chemical violation will be expected to serve the penalty in the next activity in which the student participates. If the student chooses to join a new sport and has an un-served chemical violation, the student must serve the penalty in the new sport and also in next season of a sport in which the student participated in during the previous year.
III. AHA Leadership Penalties.
Leadership policy—Any captain of an AHA team, club, or activity, and any Student Government, Campus Ministry Team (CMT), or Students Assisting Students (SAS) member who has a Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) chemical violation or a Good Standing violation may lose the position of leadership without appeal.*
If you have a MSHSL Chemical Violation or Good Standing violation after being elected captain and you are a sophomore or junior, you will lose your year of captaincy without appeal. You will remain eligible for election as captain in subsequent years.
If you have an MSHSL Chemical Violation or Good Standing violation as a senior captain and this is your first violation, you may request a reinstatement hearing using the following procedure:
Within ten school days, contact the principal to request a reinstatement hearing. If the principal approves your request,
If after performing the service, speaking to your teammates and attending the appeal, the committee approves your request, you may return to your position of leadership following your MSHSL suspension
Those students who receive more than one MSHL Chemical or Good Standing violation will not be eligible to be elected captain or to appeal their loss of captaincy.
*See section 11 of the Activities Eligibility Requirements in the Activities Handbook which is part of the current Student and Parent Handbook for information about Good Standing.
As part of its ongoing efforts to maintain an environment free of the use of mood-altering chemicals, AHA reserves the right to lead chemical-sniffing dogs through the AHA parking lot and through AHA hallways containing student lockers. In the event a chemical-sniffing dog alerts to a particular vehicle or locker, the student to whom the vehicle or locker belongs will be informed, and the Assistant Principal, Principal, Dean of Students of designee (i.e., police, another administrator) is authorized to search the vehicle or locker to which the chemical-sniffing dog alerted and confiscate any contraband.(This policy revised and approved May 2008)
(June 17, 2009 mn; May 17, 2010mn; June 13, 2011 mn; June 12, 2012 mn, July 18, 2012, February 18, 2014mn; June 19, 2014 mn, Dec. 8, 2016 ga; 6/26/18 cd)