9610 Staff Substance Abuse

The Board of Education, recognizing that students are often influenced by teachers and other members of a school’s staff, impresses upon staff members the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism appropriate to their position, which, in turn, shall set a positive example for students.

Since substance abuse has become a national concern, particularly among children and teenagers, the Board believes that school employees should be role models in the workplace for a drug-free lifestyle. “Workplace” shall mean any site on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities including field trips, or any place in which an employee is working within the scope of his/her employment duties. The Board will therefore not permit the consumption, sharing and/or selling, use and/or possession of alcohol or “other substances” which refers to all substances including but not limited to alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs, and any synthetic version thereof (whether or not specifically illegal or labeled for human consumption), commonly referred to as “designer drugs”. Designer drugs are those substances which have been designed and synthesized to mimic the intended effects and usages of, and which are chemically substantially similar to, substances controlled by federal and/or state law as exemplified above. The inappropriate use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs shall also be disallowed.

The district shall maintain an employee awareness program, including information regarding substance abuse rehabilitation programs provided by local agencies.

If an employee is found to have violated the terms of this policy, he or she may be subject to a range of penalties up to and including dismissal. Information about any drug and alcohol counseling and/or rehabilitation programs shall be made available to employees. An employee may be required to participate in a substance abuse rehabilitation program as part of disciplinary action.

Employee Assistance Program

The Board of Education recognizes that the problems of alcohol and controlled substance use and abuse affect every segment of society. Therefore, in collaboration with district collective bargaining units, the Board will maintain an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that will provide appropriate and confidential prevention, intervention, assessment, referral, support and follow-up services for district staff. Staff members will be informed of such services and shall be encouraged to seek help either voluntarily or as part of disciplinary action.

In general, the Board of Education will not intervene unless the employee’s personal problems adversely affect job performance. However, drivers subject to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 must be referred to a substance abuse counselor for evaluation and treatment if the employee has tested positive for controlled substances, have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater, or refused to take a test.

Drug-Testing of Employees

No employee, except drivers in the district’s Transportation Department, shall be subjected to urinalysis or other form of drug testing without reasonable individualized suspicion

that the employee has been using an illegal drug(s). The school attorney shall be consulted before any implementation of such testing. Failure to submit to required drug testing based upon reasonable individualized suspicion that the employee has been using an illegal drug(s) is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

In its effort to maintain a drug-free environment, the district shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with local, state and/or federal law enforcement agencies.

Cross-ref: 9320, Drug-Free Workplace

Ref: Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (20 USC §§3171 et seq.)

Civil Service Law §75

Education Law §3020-a

Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers v. Board of Education,

70 NY2d 57 (1987)

Adopted October 9, 2001

Re-adopted February 9, 2010

Revised, Adopted November 7, 2012

Revised and Adopted March 3, 2020

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