Chemical Health Policy

Introduction
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.

Scope
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.)

Policy Statement

  1. General – Unless prior approval is granted by the President for use of alcohol and in accordance with legal guidelines, use of mood-altering chemicals is prohibited for all members of the AHA community at all AHA related events both on and off campus.  If disciplinary actions are required, they will be specified in the procedure.
  2. Students – All alcohol and other mood-altering chemical use is prohibited by Minnesota State Law and the Minnesota State High School League rules.  For this reason and because of the potential danger to individuals, families, and the larger community which chemical use poses, AHA prohibits students from using, possessing, selling, distributing, or being under the influence of alcohol and other mood-altering chemicals while on the AHA campus or at AHA-related events. When there is reasonable suspicion, rooms, bags, and luggage can be inspected on school-sponsored trips. The chaperone in charge of the trip will conduct the inspection in consultation with another approved school chaperone.
  3. Adults – Believing that adult members of the community are role models for our students, AHA encourages those who choose to use alcohol to do so responsibly, keeping in mind the example they are setting.
  4. Alcohol may not be served at AHA events that include both adults and students unless prior approval is granted by the President.
  5. Any adult chaperoning students is asked to refrain from using alcohol or other mood-altering chemicals immediately prior to and during the time of his/her responsibility.
  6. Storage of Mood-Altering Chemicals – Generally, alcohol and other mood altering chemicals shall not be stored in AHA facilities.
  7. Educational Programs – Chemical awareness education will be provided for students, staff and parents.  Education will be aimed at promoting a healthy chemical use environment for AHA.  Review of the past program and plans for the future will be reviewed with the Board of Trustees annually.
  8. Intervention – Procedures are in place as an aid for students or adults of the AHA community who have concern about another's use of chemicals.  Staff members are required to use specified procedures.  Any member of the AHA community who is concerned about his/her own use is encouraged to use available resources.

Definition of “Mood-Altering Chemicals”
For purposes of this policy, the phrase "mood-altering chemicals" refers to the following: 

  1. All legally-controlled substances, including but not limited to marijuana/hemp, hashish, cocaine, crack-cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, mescaline, peyote, methamphetamine, heroine, opium, and morphine;
  2. Alcohol;
  3. Tobacco;
  4. Prescription medications, including but not limited to:
  5. Opioids such as morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet), and other medications prescribed for the treatment of pain;
  6. Barbiturates, such as mephobarbital (Mebaral) and pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal), and other medications prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, tension, and sleep disorders;
  7. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide HCl (Librium), alprazolam (Xanax), triazolam (Halcion), and estazolan (ProSom), and other medications prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, acute stress reactions, panic attacks, and sleeping disorders;
  8. Stimulants, such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), and other medications prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and depression;
  9. Prescription sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zalepon (Sonata), and eszopiclone (Lunesta); and
  10. Any other prescription medications which, in the discretion of the AHA administration, are subject to potential abuse or misuse;
  11. Commonly abused over-the-counter medications, including but not limited to sleeping pills, caffeine or energy pills, cough medicines, and any other over-the-counter medications which, in the discretion of the AHA administration, are subject to potential abuse or misuse;
  12. Commonly abused household substances, including but not limited to certain kinds of glue or paint, permanent markers, cleaning fluids, nail polish remover, compressed air canisters, and any other household substances which, in the discretion of the AHA administration, are subject to potential abuse or misuse; and
  13. Any other substances which, in the discretion of the AHA administration, are subject to potential abuse or misuse for the purpose of achieving an altered state or mood, regardless of whether those substances are legal or illegal.

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. 

  1. If a staff member has a well-founded suspicion or belief that a student has committed an illegal act or is in violation of the AHA chemical health policy, the staff member should inform the student of the suspicion or observed violation and accompany the student to an office or area of privacy.
  2. The staff member will contact the Assistant Principal, the Principal, the Dean of Students, or, at cocurricular events, the advisor of the activity.  The chemical health counselor will be notified.
  3. If the Assistant Principal, Principal, or Dean of Students has a well-founded suspicion or belief that a student has committed an illegal act or is in violation of the AHA chemical health policy, the Assistant Principal, Principal, Dean of Students, or designee (i.e., police, another administrator) is authorized to search the student and his or her property including but not limited to the student’s backpack, purse, or other belongings; the student’s locker, and the student’s vehicle. The school official or designee is also authorized to administer a breathalyzer test to detect any alcohol on the student’s breath.
  4. The chemical(s) and/or paraphernalia will be confiscated, if possible.
  5. The Principal, parents and legal authorities will be notified immediately.
  6. The student will be expelled from AHA.

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:

  1. No confiscation will take place and no discipline will be imposed for the possession and/or 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 possess or use such medications and if such possession or use otherwise complies with AHA’s “Medication During School Hours” policies. Note that this exception does not apply to the sale, distribution, irresponsible use, abuse, or misuse of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or self-administered medications—even if the student possesses the correct paperwork and authorization of the school nurse to possess and use such medications.
  2. If a student is observed possessing or responsibly using prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or self-administered medications, but that student does not have the correct paperwork and authorization of the school nurse to possess or use such medications, the medication will be confiscated, the Principal and the parents of the student will be immediately notified, and the student will be suspended. Note that this exception does not apply to the possession or use of prescription medications when the student observed to be possessing or using such medication does not have a valid prescription for that medication.  Furthermore, this exception does not apply to the sale, distribution, irresponsible use, abuse, or misuse of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or self-administered 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.

  1. If a staff member has a well-founded suspicion or belief that a student has committed an illegal act or is in violation of the AHA chemical health policy, the staff member should inform the student of the suspicion or observed violation and accompany the student to an office or area of privacy.
  2. The staff member will contact the Assistant Principal, the Principal, the Dean of Students, or, at cocurricular events, the advisor of the activity.  The chemical health counselor will be notified.  If evidence of violation is present, it will be confiscated.
  3. If the Assistant Principal, Principal, or Dean of Students has a well-founded suspicion or belief that a student has committed an illegal act or is in violation of the AHA chemical health policy, the Assistant Principal, Principal, Dean of Students or designee (i.e., police, another administrator) is authorized to search the student and his or her property, including but not limited to the student’s backpack, purse, or other belongings, the student’s locker, and the student’s vehicle, and confiscate any contraband. The school official or designee is also authorized to administer a breathalyzer test to detect any alcohol on the student’s breath. In the event that a student is in violation of the law, the authorities will be notified immediately.
  4. The parent or guardian will be notified to remove the student from the site.  If parent or guardian is not available, the legal authorities will be asked to remove the student.
  5. Immediate suspension from school will result under these circumstances.  The student will not be allowed to return to school until a chemical assessment is scheduled.
  6. The student must undergo a Urine Toxicology Screen by a licensed provider and attend a chemical education class.  See the “Chemical Violations Requirements and Penalties” section of this Handbook for more discussion of AHA’s chemical assessment policies.
  7. The chemical health counselor, Assistant Principal and Principal will review the assessment and UA results and determine the necessary next steps to support the recommendations in the assessment.
  8. The MSHSL policy is in effect at all times.
  9. If another offense occurs, determination of the consequences/dismissal will be made by the Principal.
  10. Students who violate the Chemical Health Policy may be prohibited from attending graduation events, including but not limited to, Celebration Day, Baccalaureate, Graduation, and Senior Party.

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: 

  1. The staff member will inform the Assistant Principal.  The Assistant Principal will inform the chemical health counselor.
  2. The chemical health counselor will meet with the student and inform him/her of the notification received and ask the student for an explanation of the event.
  3. The chemical health counselor will inform the student and send a letter to the student's parent(s)/guardian(s) indicating the requirement that the student undergo a UA by a licensed provider.  See the “Chemical Violations Requirements” section of this Handbook for more discussion of AHA’s policies regarding required chemical assessments.

Procedures for a person who expresses concern about his/her own use or another person's use

  1. If a student expresses concern about his/her own chemical use or that of another person to a staff member, the staff member must encourage the student to see a member of the Guidance Department. The staff member also immediately must report the referral to the Guidance Department.  A counselor will 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)/guardians(s) and the school administration.
  2. If the concern expressed by a student at AHA is about a person who is not a student at Holy Angels, the AHA student will be provided with resources to address the issue.

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.

Tobacco
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 smoking, whether or not it occurs on-or-off campus and regardless of the student’s age.

The use of tobacco 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:

Penalties include:

  • Minnesota State High School League penalties
  • AHA penalties
  • Leadership penalties

     

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 with in 48 hours of being notified.  If the student fails to provide these dates within 48 hours, the student will be suspended until the dates are provided. 

Education (Required)

  1. The preferred class used by AHA for the educational requirement is the Youth Accountability Program of Dakota County.  (Other four hour minimum education sessions may approved upon request).
  2. Failure to complete this process results in loss of privileges—including loss of eligibility to participate in activities, loss of off-campus privileges, loss of privilege to attend schools events, and/or other consequences.
  3. A meeting with parent(s)/guardian(s) may follow.  The academic needs of the student will be reviewed to determine if any modification of the curriculum is needed.
  4. If a student refuses to attend a chemical education class, he or she may be dismissed from AHA.

Urine Toxicology Screen (Required)

  1. A Urine Toxicology Screen is also part of the requirement if a student is in violation of the AHA policy regarding alcohol or other mood-altering drugs.
  2. The student must submit a urine sample to a licensed clinic or laboratory for general toxicology analysis. The analysis should screen for all mood-altering chemicals including alcohol.
  3. The results of the Urine Toxicology Screen must be forwarded to the AHA chemical health counselor.  This process is not complete until the school receives the results from the analysis. The results are not part of the student's cumulative file.
  4. The chemical health counselor, Assistant Principal and Principal will review the Urine Toxicology Screen results and determine if further assessment is necessary.
  5. If a student refuses to complete a Urine Toxicology Screen, he or she may be dismissed from AHA

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:

  • suspension from attending school activities during the length of the suspension (activities include, all fine arts, activities/sports events, club events, and informal dances),
  • suspension of off-campus privileges,

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:

  • suspension from attending school activities during the length of the suspension (activities include, all fine arts, activities/sports events, club events, and informal dances),
  • perform 6 hours of community service before eligibility is reinstated,
  • suspension of off-campus privileges,

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:

  • suspension from attending school activities during the length of the suspension (activities include, all fine arts, activities/sports events, club events, and informal dances),
  • perform 6 hours of community service before eligibility is reinstated,
  • suspension of off-campus privileges,

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.

Appeals Process

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,

  1. Prepare your statement for the hearing. The reinstatement panel consists of the principal, three faculty members, and your head coach (or designee).
  2. Perform six (6) hours of community service
  3. Address your teammates about your re-commitment to act as a leader.

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.

Other

Chemical-Sniffing Dogs
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)