Top Bar

Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

LMSD's Rules Against Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco

Purpose

Because of the inherently harmful nature of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, the District strictly prohibits their use in school and in connection with school-related activities. Use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco by participants in Interscholastic Athletics and other Performance Activities increases risk of injury and adverse health consequences and also adversely affect performance of the individual which, in turn, undermines the performance of the team and other program participants. Therefore, Lower Merion School District establishes these rules (“Rules”) regarding the possession, use and distribution of drugs, alcohol and tobacco to supplement the existing Codes of Student Conduct with respect to students who participate in Interscholastic Athletics and other activities in which Lower Merion School District students publicly compete or perform (“Performance Activities”). A complete listing of Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities is attached to these Rules as Appendix “A”. Any discipline imposed by these Rules is in addition to the discipline imposed by the Code of Student Conduct applicable to all students.

Definitions

Definition of Improper Drug and Alcohol Activity

The possession, use and/or distribution of alcohol or other illegal drugs or substances is contrary to the training goals of all interscholastic activities and Performance Activities in Lower Merion School District. The use of alcohol or other illegal drugs or substance at any time or place will not be tolerated. The District provides assistance to those students who recognize they have a problem with the use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol. The Board of School Directors, the administration and the faculty strongly encourage students to seek help for problems of drug and alcohol abuse.

Please note that the penalties refer to any possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and/or other illegal drugs or substances including:

  • anabolic steroids or any performance enhancing substances not specifically pre-approved by the athletic office,
  • drinking of alcoholic beverages,
  • using illegal substances,
  • being in possession of alcohol or illegal drugs

“Distribution” means selling, dispensing or otherwise facilitating the sale or dispensing of substances prohibited by these Rules. We expect our students to do the right thing. Participants in interscholastic athletic activities and Performance Activities are expected not to indulge in the consumption, possession, or distribution of alcohol or any illegal drug or substance. They are further expected not to attend any affair or activity in which alcohol or drugs are being used illegally or even presented with the possible intent of illegal use. We expect our students to leave such affairs and activities immediately.

Definition of Tobacco Use

For purposes of these Rules, tobacco use shall be defined as use and/or possession of a lighted or unlighted cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar and/or pipe; other lighted smoking product; and smokeless tobacco in any form. The use of tobacco at any time or place will not be tolerated. The District provides assistance to those students who recognize they have a problem with the use of tobacco. The Board of School Directors, the administration and the faculty strongly encourage students to seek help for tobacco use.

Definition of Season

The “season” for interscholastic activities starts with the first day of practice or participation following the final tryout and ends with the last contest, meeting or practice, whichever is the latest date. The “season” for other Performance Activities starts with the first competition date and ends with the final competition date. When a participant is suspended for the number of weeks indicated in these Rules, the participant may not participate in the activity until the suspension is completed. For interscholastic activities, at the discretion of the coach/faculty adviser, the student may still report to practice, but may not dress for games, may not be in or around the bench area, may not travel, or in any way take part in contests or scrimmages for the duration of the suspension. Suspensions are only for one sport or performance activity unless the offense occurs in-season for more than one activity in which case the suspension will be for all in-season activities.

Definition of “Student Assistance Programs”

Student Assistance Programs are available to assist with the social and emotional needs of all students. These confidential programs are activated on a referral basis and is intended to help students access school and outside programs equipped to handle student problems.

Investigation

Whenever a report of improper drug, alcohol or tobacco activity by a student member of an interscholastic athletic team or performance activity comes to the attention of any member of the Lower Merion School District, it shall be reported to the Athletic Director (interscholastic athletic activities only) and/or an Assistant Principal. Such reports will be investigated and verified by the Athletic Director and/or Assistant Principal who will be responsible for notifying the student’s parent or parents in a timely manner. Every effort will be made to verify the truthfulness of each report, and the investigation shall be done in a timely manner. The coach or faculty adviser (“coach/ faculty adviser”) of the activity shall be informed. After proper verification, the Athletic Director and/or Assistant Principal will make a final presentation of all evidence to the Principal. The decision of the Principal will be the final determination of whether a violation occurred. The Athletic Director and/or Assistant Principal shall notify the parent and the coach/faculty adviser of the action taken. The coach/faculty adviser of the activity will meet with the student involved. The appropriate discipline will be administered immediately.

Penalties for Use of Drugs and Alcohol

Students who seek the help of the district’s student assistance team prior to an incident leading to the District’s awareness that a problem may exist may be suspended from participation in interscholastic activities and Performance Activities in order to participate in a therapeutic intervention program. These students seeking treatment may return to team or activity participation upon the recommendation of the drug and alcohol counselor that the student is no longer actively using illegal substances and poses no risk to other team members. Such students who seek help on their own will not be subject to the other penalties under these Rules other than described above.
All students who are subject to the penalties set forth below must be assessed through the Student Assistance Program and must follow through on the Student Assistance Program recommendations in order to be reinstated to the sport or performance activity.

Any student caught violating this policy out-of-season (the remainder of the year that is not in-season) will be put on probation for the upcoming season. If the student violates the probation, the consequence will move to a second offense.
Parents shall be promptly notified of all offenses.

First Offense

If the student possesses and/or uses drugs or alcohol: The student will be suspended from participation for a period of two weeks from the day the coach/faculty adviser informs the student of the suspension. The coach/faculty adviser must confront the student as soon as he/she is made aware of the suspension. The student must also agree to attend appropriate counseling related to the infraction. Failure to do so will result in suspension from all Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year. Following the two-week suspension, return to the interscholastic athletic team or performance activity is contingent upon recommendation of a drug and/or alcohol counselor.

  • Example 1 - A student is arrested for underage drinking on Saturday night. Officials at the school find out on Monday. The information is verified. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. The student is suspended from the activity for two weeks. The student attends a District approved educational/counseling program and is reinstated contingent on the recommendation of the drug/alcohol counselor.
  • Example 2 - A student is at a party where underage drinking occurs on Saturday night. Officials at the school find out on Monday and the information is verified. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner.
  • Example 3 - A student is arrested for possession of drugs on Saturday night. Officials at the school find out on the following Monday. The student is out-of-season. The coach/faculty adviser is informed on Tuesday. The coach/ faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. The student agrees to undergo the appropriate counseling (which may begin as soon as possible). The student will be suspended when the next “season” begins. If tryouts begin August 1, the student will be suspended for fourteen days until August 15.

Second Offense

If the student possesses, uses or distributes drugs or alcohol following the first offense:

The student will be suspended for two seasons from participating in the interscholastic athletic sport or performance activity the day the coach/faculty adviser confronts the student and informs the student of the suspension. The coach/faculty adviser must inform the student as soon as he/she is made aware of the violation. The student must also agree to attend appropriate counseling related to the infraction. Failure to do so will result in suspension from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities until such time as the student gets the appropriate counseling. Return to the activity is contingent on recommendation of a drug/alcohol counselor.

  • Example 4 - A student is disciplined in September 2004 for underage drinking. He/she is suspended two weeks and reinstated. Two months later, the student is arrested for possession of drugs. School officials find out on Monday, November 8 and the coach/faculty adviser is informed the same day. The coach/faculty adviser, in turn, informs the student immediately. The student is suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the current season and for the following season. The student does attend an approved educational/ counseling program. The student is reinstated on November 8, 2005.
  • Example 5 - A student is disciplined in September 2004 for underage drinking. He/she is suspended two weeks and reinstated. Two months later, the student is arrested for possession of drugs. School officials find out on Monday, November 8 and the coach/faculty adviser is informed the same day, who in turn informs the student immediately. The student is suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the current season and for the following season. The student refuses to attend approved educational/counseling sessions and therefore is suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities indefinitely or until the counseling requirements are met.

Third Offense

If the student possesses, uses or distributes drugs or alcohol following the second offense:

On the third offense, a student will be banned from any further participation in Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the time they are enrolled in the District with a right to appeal to the Principal for reinstatement. An educational and counseling program will still be made available to the student, but he/she will not be reinstated for Interscholastic Athletics or performance activity participation absent a successful appeal to the Principal.

Distribution of Drugs and/or Alcohol

The penalties for distribution of alcohol and/or illegal drugs shall be as set forth above except that a first offense for distribution shall be treated as a second offense under these Rules and a second offense for distribution shall be treated as a third offense.

Penalties for Tobacco Use

First Offense

The student will be suspended from participation for a period of one week from the day the coach/faculty adviser informs the student and informs the student of the suspension. The coach/faculty adviser must inform the student as soon as he/she is made aware of the violation. The student must also agree to attend appropriate counseling related to the infraction. Failure to do so will result in suspension from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year.

  • Example 6 - A student is seen smoking on Friday night, November 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, November 4. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. The student is suspended for one week. The student attends an approved smoking educational/counseling program and is reinstated.
  • Example 7 - A student is observed smoking on Saturday night, December 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, December 3. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. However, the student refuses to attend an approved smoking educational/ counseling program and is therefore suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year.

Second Offense

The student will be suspended from participation for a period of two weeks from the day the coach/faculty adviser confronts the student and informs the student of the suspension. The coach/faculty adviser must confront the student as soon as he/she is made aware of the violation. The student must also agree to attend an appropriate smoking counseling program. Failure to do so will result in suspension from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year.

  • Example 8 - A student is seen smoking on Friday night, November 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, November 4. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is the student’s second offense. The student is suspended for two weeks. The student attends an approved smoking educational/counseling program and is reinstated.
  • Example 9 - A student is observed smoking on Saturday night, December 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, December 3. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is the student’s second offense. However, the student refuses to attend an approved smoking educational/counseling program and, therefore, is suspended for the remainder of the school year.

Third Offense

The student will be suspended for the remainder of the activity or thirty days from the date of the suspension, whichever is greater. The student must also agree to attend appropriate counseling related to the infraction. Failure to do so will result in suspension from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year.

  • Example 10 - A student is seen smoking on Friday night, October 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, October 4. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is the student’s third offense. The student is suspended for thirty days. The student attends an approved smoking educational/counseling program and is reinstated.
  • Example 11 - A student is observed smoking on Saturday night, December 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, December 3. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is the student’s third offense. However, the student refuses to attend an approved smoking educational/counseling program and, therefore, is suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for the remainder of the school year.

Fourth Offense

The student will be suspended for a period of one calendar year from the day the coach/faculty adviser confronts the student and informs the student of the suspension. The coach/faculty adviser must confront the student as soon as he/she is made aware of the violation. The student must also agree to attend appropriate counseling related to the infraction. Failure to do so will result in suspension from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities until such time as the student gets the appropriate counseling.

  • Example 12 - A student is seen smoking on Friday night, November 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, November 4. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is a fourth offense. The student is suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities for one year. The student attends an approved smoking educational/counseling program and is reinstated.
  • Example 13 - A student is observed smoking on Saturday night, December 1. Officials at the school find out on Monday, December 3. The coach/faculty adviser informs the student and a building administrator notifies the student’s parents in a timely manner. This is the student’s fourth offense. However, the student refuses to attend an approved smoking educational/counseling program and is therefore suspended from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities indefinitely or until such a counseling program is completed.

Note: If a student has had no violations within one calendar year of his/her first offense, then the next violation past that date will again be considered the student’s first violation and will be dealt with accordingly.

Notification of Disciplinary Action

Parents must be notified when a student has been suspended by a coach/faculty adviser from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities.

  1. The Athletics Director (Interscholastic Athletics only), Assistant Principal, and Principal must be notified of all disciplinary suspensions from Interscholastic Athletics and Performance Activities pursuant to these Rules.
  2. Other than automatic suspensions based on the aforementioned Rules, the Athletics Director (sports only), Assistant Principal, and the Principal must be involved in the final decision to suspend a student for an entire season or the balance of a season.

Appeals Process

Appeals must be made in writing by the student and endorsed by the student’s parents by 4:00 p.m. of the business day following the day notice of disciplinary action is received by the student. The appeal should be directed to the Assistant Principal to whom the student is assigned.

The appeals committee will consist of the Assistant Principal, the Athletic Director (or principal’s designee for students not involved in interscholastic sports) and a varsity coach/faculty adviser other than a coach/faculty adviser of the student in question. A decision will be made within two business days following the appeal.

A second and final appeal may be made to the building Principal by 4:00 p.m. of the business day following the rejection of the first appeal

Lower Merion School District Drug and Alcohol Consequences Summary

Drug & Alcohol Violations for possession or use (including anabolic steroids & performance subs)

  1. 1st offense
    • 2 week suspension if counseling. Return to team requires recommendation of drug/alcohol counselor.
    • Remainder of school year if no counseling
  2. 2nd offense
    • 2 seasons if counseling. Return to team requires recommendation of drug/alcohol counselor.
    • Indefinite beyond 1 year if no counseling
  3. 3rd offense
    • permanent ban with right to appeal to the Principal for reinstatement. Counseling still available

Drug & Alcohol Violations for distribution (including anabolic steroids & performance subs)

  1. 1st offense
    • 1 calendar year if counseling. Return to team requires recommendation of drug/alcohol counselor.
    • Indefinite beyond 1 year if no counseling
  2. 2nd offense
    • permanent ban with right to appeal to the Principal for reinstatement.  Counseling still available.

Tobacco

  1. 1st offense
    • 1 week suspension if counseling
    • Suspension remainder of school year if no counseling
  2. 2nd offense
    • 2 week suspension if counseling
    • Suspension remainder of school year if no counseling
  3. 3rd offense
    • Suspension for greater of 30 days or remainder of activity if counseling
    • Suspension remainder of school year if no counseling
  4. 4th offense
    • 1 calendar year if counseling
    • Indefinite if no counseling

This document is intended to serve only as a short summary of the procedures and consequences associated with drug, alcohol, and tobacco activity by participants in Interscholastic Athletics and other Performance Activities. To the extent that there is any conflict between this summary and the Rules, the Rules shall govern the situation.