skip to main content

Policy 9230 - Alcohol, Other Drugs, Prescription Medication and Over-the-Counter Products

The purpose of this policy is to establish parameters for both educational programs and disciplinary action taken in response to violations.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County is committed to promoting and providing a drug-free academic environment for all students and providing appropriate safeguards with respect to the administration of prescription medication and over-the-counter products, and believes that collaboration with parents and the larger community is essential to its success in this regard. School System efforts to deter the use of alcohol and other drugs by students will include a comprehensive program designed to inform students of the negative effects of alcohol and other drug use, provide appropriate support and intervention services related to student use of alcohol and other drugs, as well as appropriate consequences for students who violate this policy.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish parameters for both educational programs and disciplinary action taken in response to violations.

III. Definitions

  1. Alcohol – Ale, beer, wine, whiskey, rum, gin, or any other spirituous, vinous, malt, or fermented liquor or compound by whatever name called.

  2. Constructive Possession – Failing to remove oneself from a situation or area where alcohol or other drugs are known to be present.

  3. Distribution – The actual or intended sale, transfer, trade, giving or exchange in any manner of alcohol, other drugs, prescription medication or over-the-counter products by a student to any person whether or not a student, when such distribution takes place in a setting in which students are responsible to school authority and/or supervision. Includes intent to distribute. Distribution does not include circumstances where a prohibited substance is possessed or owned collectively by all participants.

  4. Drug Paraphernalia – All equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled dangerous substance.

  5. Drug – Any substance, other than alcohol or tobacco, that when taken into the body may impair one’s mental faculties. This includes:

    1. A controlled dangerous substance, as defined in §5-402-5-406 of the Criminal Law Article;

    2. Any other substance used for the purpose of altering one’s mood or behavior, including inhalants;

    3. Drug Paraphernalia;

    4. Look-alikes or a substance represented as of any of the above.

  6. Extracurricular Activities – Continuing activities available to students beyond the regular school day which are not required for the satisfactory completion of a particular class.

  7. Inhalant – Any substance inhaled for the purpose of inducing a condition of intoxication, inebriation or excitement, or otherwise impairs one’s mental faculties.

  8. Intent to Distribute – Possession of alcohol, other drugs, prescription medication or over-the-counter products on the person of a student, in or on any item or belonging under the control of the student or owned by the student, in such quantity and under such circumstances, observed or discovered, indicating the strong likelihood of distribution (as defined) in a setting in which students are responsible to school authority and/or supervision.

  9. Over-the-Counter Product – over-the-counter medicines, homeopathic and herbal products, and dietary supplements.

  10. Possession – Presence of alcohol, other drugs, prescription medication or over-the-counter products on the person of a student, however small the amount, in or on any item belonging to or under the control of the student or owned by the student, in any setting in which students are responsible to school authority and/or supervision.

  11. Prescription Medication – a substance that under federal law may not be dispensed without a prescription written by a person licensed by the State to do so.

  12. School-Related Activity – On or off premises activity in which a student directly participates (e.g. field trip, school system-sponsored athletic event, and class/graduation activities, or in which the student does not directly participate but represents the school or student body simply by being there (e.g. spectator at a school system-sponsored event).

  13. Use – 1) A deliberate act of ingesting, injecting, inhaling or otherwise taking into the body alcohol or other drugs; 2) A condition or state of being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

  14. Written Medication Order – a written order, defined in the Howard County Health Services Manual, required for the administration of prescription medication and over-the-counter products to students during school hours and at school-related events.

IV. Standards

  1. General

    1. Notice that alcohol and drugs are prohibited in the Howard County Public School System shall be provided to students, parents and staff members at the beginning of each school year and when deemed appropriate by the principal.

    2. Prescription medication and over-the-counter products require written medication orders and are to be administered in accordance with medication administration guidelines. (Consult the Howard County Public Schools Health Services Manual for procedures and exceptions).

  2. Curriculum

    1. The Howard County Public School System has developed its Health Education curriculum to conform to state and federal mandates for Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The goal of the Health Education curriculum is for students to demonstrate the ability to utilize knowledge of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs to develop skills and attitudes that promote drug and violence-free living.

    2. The Health Education Curriculum:

      1. Helps students recognize internal pressures, like wanting to belong to a group, and external pressures, like peer attitudes and advertising, that influence them to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs;

      2. Facilitates development of personal, social, and refusal skills to resist these pressures;

      3. Teaches that using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs is not the norm among teenagers, correcting the misconception that “everyone is doing it,” and promotes positive norms through bonding to school and constructive role models;

      4. Uses interactive teaching techniques, such as role plays, discussions, brainstorming and cooperative learning;

      5. Actively involves the family and the community so that prevention strategies are reinforced across settings;

      6. Includes teacher training and support in order to assure that curricula are delivered as intended;

      7. Contains material that is easy for teachers to implement and culturally relevant for students.

  3. Violation of Policy

    1. It is a violation of this policy for any student to:

      1. Possess, use (including constructive possession), or distribute alcohol or other drugs on school property or at school-related activities.

      2. Possess or use prescription medication or an over-the-counter product in the absence of or inconsistent with a written medication order.

      3. Distribute either prescription medication or an over-the-counter product.

    2. Violations of this policy are cumulative; subsequent offenses may affect the nature and severity of the consequences.

V. Compliance

  1. Staff Training

    The Howard County Public School System will provide training for its staff. This training will address:

    1. The contents and requirements of this policy.

    2. Early identification of students who might have a problem with alcohol and other drugs.

    3. The Health Education curriculum.

  2. Violation of Policy

    1. School administrators will complete an incident report for any suspected violation of this policy.

    2. Any action in response to a violation of this policy should be taken using the Howard County Student Code of Conduct and in accordance with Policy 9200 - Student Discipline.

    3. All searches and seizures related to this policy conducted on school property or during school-sponsored activities shall take place in accordance with Section 7-308 of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Policy 9020 - Students’ Rights and Responsibilities.

    4. The school administrator shall report all criminal activity and all illegal behavior, including the possession, use and distribution of alcohol and other drugs on school property to the Youth Division of the Howard County Police Department and the Maryland State Department of Education.

  3. Any graduating senior who is suspended for 10 days or less that includes the day of commencement can appeal directly to the Superintendent. The appeal must be filed no later than two school days prior to the commencement ceremony, if a decision is to be made prior to commencement exercises.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop appropriate procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  1. The Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, §5-402-5-406, Dangerous Substances, Prescriptions, and Other Substances.

  2. The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article:

    1. Section 6-108 (School Employees - Immunity from Civil Liability);

    2. Section 7-412 (Preservation of Rights of Student Seeking to Overcome Drug Abuse);

    3. Section 7-411 (Drug Education Program);

    4. Section 7-413 (Alcohol Abuse Program);

    5. Section 7-305 (Suspension and Expulsion);

    6. Section 7-308 (Searches of Students and Schools);

    7. Section 26-103 (Drinking or Possessing Intoxicating Beverages on School Premises)

  3. COMAR 13A.08.01.08 (Substance Use or Distribution)

  4. COMAR 13A.08.01.11 (Disciplinary Action)

  5. COMAR 13A.08.01.15 (Reporting Delinquent Acts)

B. Other

VIII. History

ADOPTED: August 26, 2004

REVIEWED: July 1, 2011

MODIFIED: August 14, 2014

REVISED: May 12, 2005

EFFECTIVE: August 14, 2014