Student Substance Abuse

Policy Approve By
Dr. Dean O. Stenehjem, Superintendent
Policy Date (original policy date)
Reviewed (date last reviewed but not changed)
Policy Prepared By
Karen Mowry, Asst. Principal (with advice from Craig Meador, Principal)
Policy Category

SUBJECT: Student Substance Abuse

I. PURPOSE: To provide consistency in response to substance abuse by students.

Substance abuse is a concern not only for personal health and safety, but also for the health and safety of the entire WSSB community.  


A. Tobacco:  The use or possession of tobacco in any form including smokeless or look alike tobacco by students under the age of 18 is forbidden.  The use of tobacco by students over the age of 18 is limited to before or after school hours while attending WSSB.

  • Students over age 18: Tobacco use is forbidden during the school day or during school sponsored activities. Smoking is forbidden on school grounds.  Tobacco must be held in cottage or school office and checked out to student before or after school.  Tobacco must be returned to office when returning to campus.  Tobacco must not be sold or shared with students under the age of 18. WAC 72-120-100.13

(13) Smoking. The Washington state school for the blind supports the goal of the governor's nonsmoking policy and the policy of the public schools mandating a total ban on the use of all tobacco products by September 1, 1991. Students are not allowed to smoke or use tobacco products on school premises or during school-sponsored activities.

First offense:  Conference with administrator; training on dangers of tobacco use by nurse.

Second offense: Privilege for tobacco use revoked.

Third and subsequent offense: Student brings tobacco onto campus after privilege is revoked results in 3-5 day suspension.   

WAC 72-120-220 Short-term suspension

(1) As used in this chapter "short-term suspension" shall mean a denial of attendance at any class or admission to or entry upon school property for up to and not exceeding ten consecutive school days.
(2) Short-term suspensions may be imposed upon a student for violation(s) of rules adopted in WAC 72-120-100.
(3) A student may be suspended for a short term after another less restrictive form of disciplinary action, reasonably calculated to modify his or her conduct, has been imposed as a consequence of misconduct of the same nature: Provided, That the school may resort to immediate short-term suspension in cases involving exceptional misconduct notwithstanding the fact that prior alternative corrective action or discipline has not been imposed. For the purposes of this section, "exceptional misconduct" means misconduct, other than absenteeism, of such frequent occurrence, notwithstanding prior attempts by the school to control such misconduct through the use of other forms of disciplinary action, and/or so serious in nature and/or so serious in terms of disruptive effect upon the operation of the school as to warrant immediate resort to short-term suspension.
(4) Any student subject to short-term suspension shall be provided the opportunity upon return to make up assignments and tests missed by reason of the suspension if such assignments or tests have a substantial effect upon the semester grade.[Statutory Authority: RCW 72.4.011 [72.40.022]. 01-16-023, § 72-120-220, filed 7/20/01, effective 8/20/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 72.40.022. 90-16-005, § 72-120-220, filed 7/19/90, effective 8/19/90.]

  • Student under age 18: Possession or use of tobacco is forbidden.
WAC 314-10-060

Persons under 18 years old attempting to purchase/obtaining tobacco products.(1) Any person whom a peace officer or enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe is under 18 years of age who purchases or attempts to purchase, or attempts to obtain or obtains tobacco products may be detained for a reasonable period of time and in such a reasonable manner as is necessary to determine the person's true identity and date of birth. A person under 18 years of age who is cited for attempting to purchase or purchasing tobacco products is subject to a fine as set by chapter 7.80 RCW or participation in a smoking cessation program or both.
(a) This provision does not apply to a person under the age of 18 who, with parental authorization, is participating in a controlled purchase as a part of a liquor control board, law enforcement, or local health department activity.
(2) Tobacco products possessed by persons under the age of eighteen years are considered contraband and may be seized by an enforcement officer as defined in RCW 7.80.040.

First offense: Warning; parent notified both by phone and in writing;      parent/student/administrator conference; education by health center on dangers of tobacco use.

Second offense: Same as first offense; plus “walking papers*” will be revoked for 7 school days.  If student has no “walking papers,” then student will be “cottaged**” for 4 days.

Third and subsequent offense:  Same as first offense plus suspension (length not to exceed 5 days.); no walking papers for remainder of semester or until reinstated by administrator.  WAC 72-120-220, 225. (See above.)

B.   Alcohol or illicit drugs:  The use or possession of alcohol or illicit substances or drug paraphernalia by any student while under the jurisdiction of WSSB is forbidden. Presence of student at WSSB after consumption of alcohol or drugs elsewhere is grounds for discipline.

WAC 72-120-100 Conduct violations.

A student who, either as actor, aider, abettor, or accomplice, violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the disciplinary actions herein adopted. A student may be an accomplice, or found to have aided and abetted in committing a violation of the student conduct code if he or she associates with, encourages, promotes, or counsels another student in the commission of an offense, or participates in it as something he or she wishes to bring about, and seeks by his or her action to make it succeed.

(14) Alcohol. Use, possession, distribution of, or visible intoxication from alcoholic beverages is prohibited on school property or at school-sponsored activities.
(15) Drugs and controlled substances. Use, possession, distribution, or being visibly under the influence of any controlled substance or illegal drug as defined in WAC 72-120-300, except when the use or possession of a drug is specifically prescribed as medication by an authorized medical doctor or dentist.

WAC 72-120-300 Disciplinary exclusion -- Definitions.

 The following definitions apply to this section only:
(1) "Controlled substance" means a drug or other substance identified under Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. Sec. 812(c)).

(2) "Illegal drug" means a controlled substance, but does not include, a substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act or under any other provision of federal law.

*walking papers: issued and signed by Orientation and Mobility Specialists and signed by parents giving student over age 13 permission to travel off campus when accompanied by another student or students over 16 permission to travel off campus independently.

**cottaged:  equivalent to being “grounded.”  Student is not allowed to leave cottage during the evening.

  • Abuse - inhalation, ingestion or otherwise of any substance for its intoxicating affect.
  • Drug Paraphernalia - items intended or designed for use, storage, or distribution of any controlled substance.

First offense:  Parent notified both by phone and in writing; parent/student/administrator conference prior to student returning to school; drug abuse intervention program as given by nursing staff at WSSB or approved alternative program; walking papers revoked for remainder of quarter unless within two weeks of end of quarter, then papers revoked for subsequent quarter; suspension of no less than 5 days. Notification of authorities if required by law.  (See RCW 69.41.030). WAC 72-120-220, 225 (See above).

Second offense: Parent notified by phone and in writing; parent/student/administrator conference; walking revoked for remainder of year; suspension op to 10 days. If more than a total of 10 days during the school year the school will provide services.

WAC 72-120-303

(1) In the case of a student who has been removed from his or her current placement for more than ten cumulative school days in the same school year, the school, for the remainder of the removals, shall provide services to the extent necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and advance toward achieving the goals set out in the student's individualized education program.
(2) When there is no change of placement, school personnel, in consultation with the student's special education teacher, determine the extent to which services are necessary to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general curriculum and appropriately advance toward achieving the goals set out in the student's IEP.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 72.4.011 [72.40.022]. 01-16-023, § 72-120-303, filed 7/20/01, effective 8/20/01.]

Review of appropriate placement.

WAC 72-120-304

School personnel may order a change in placement of a student to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five calendar days, if the student:

     (2) Knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or a school function under the jurisdiction of the state school for the blind.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 72.4.011 [72.40.022]. 01-16-023, § 72-120-304, filed 7/20/01, effective 8/20/01.]

C. Drug Trafficking:  The selling, bartering or dealing of tobacco, alcohol or illicit substances is expressly forbidden.

Definition: Drug trafficking – sale or delivery of any controlled substance to another person.

First offense: Referred to local law enforcement officials for resolution. School administrator calls for immediate emergency suspension to be followed by review of appropriate placement.  WAC 72-120-304, (See above.)

WAC 72-120-210

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a student may be removed immediately from a class, subject, or activity by a certificated teacher or an administrator and sent to the principal or a designated school authority: Provided, That the teacher or administrator has good and sufficient reason to believe that the student's presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to the student, other students, or school personnel, or an immediate and continuing threat of substantial disruption of the class, subject, activity, or educational process of the school. The removal from classes, subjects, or activities shall continue only until:
 (a) The danger or threat ceases; or
 (b) The principal or designated school authority acts to impose disciplinary action pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The principal or school authority shall meet with the student as soon as reasonably possible following the student's removal and take appropriate disciplinary action. In no case shall the student's opportunity for such meeting be delayed beyond the commencement of the next school day. Prior to or at the time any such student is returned to the class(es), subject(s), or activity(ies), the principal or school authority shall notify the teacher or administrator who removed the student therefrom of the action which has been taken.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 72.40.022. 90-16-005, § 72-120-210, filed 7/19/90, effective 8/19/90.]

Prevention/Intervention:  Staff will make every effort at intervention/prevention of drug use through education and counseling.

Definitions & policies:

Search & Seizure: School lockers and room searches do not require reasonable suspicion justification because they are considered property owned by the school and may be conducted at any time.  Individual searches of a student’s person and/or property can be conducted at those times when a reasonable cause or belief exists that the student is in possession of specific item(s) that is illegal, constitutes a crime, a threat to the safety, security or welfare of the student or others, or the violation of a school rule.  In order to have a reasonable cause to search an individual(s), and/or property the search must:

  1. Be justified at its inception, and
  2. Be reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the search in the first place.  

RCW 28A.600.210

The legislature finds that illegal drug activity and weapons in schools threaten the safety and welfare of school children and pose a severe threat to the state educational system. School officials need authority to maintain order and discipline in schools and to protect students from exposure to illegal drugs, weapons, and contraband. Searches of school-issued lockers and the contents of those lockers is a reasonable and necessary tool to protect the interests of the students of the state as a whole. [1989 c 271 § 244. Formerly RCW 28A.67.300.]

RCW 28A.600.220

No right nor expectation of privacy exists for any student as to the use of any locker issued or assigned to a student by a school and the locker shall be subject to search for illegal drugs, weapons, and contraband as provided in RCW 28A.600.210 through 28A.600.240. [1990 c 33 § 503; 1989 c 271 § 245. Formerly RCW 28A.67.310.]

RCW 28A.600.230

1) A school principal, vice principal, or principal's designee may search a student, the student's possessions, and the student's locker, if the principal, vice principal, or principal's designee has reasonable grounds to suspect that the search will yield evidence of the student's violation of the law or school rules. A search is mandatory if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a student has illegally possessed a firearm in violation of RCW 9.41.280.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the scope of the search is proper if the search is conducted as follows:

(a) The methods used are reasonably related to the objectives of the search; and

(b) Is not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the suspected infraction.

(3) A principal or vice principal or anyone acting under their direction may not subject a student to a strip search or body cavity search as those terms are defined in RCW 10.79.070.

[1999 c 167 § 3; 1989 c 271 § 246. Formerly RCW 28A.67.320.]

RCW 284.600.240

(1) In addition to the provisions in RCW 28A.600.230, the school principal, vice principal, or principal's designee may search all student lockers at any time without prior notice and without a reasonable suspicion that the search will yield evidence of any particular student's violation of the law or school rule.

(2) If the school principal, vice principal, or principal's designee, as a result of the search, develops a reasonable suspicion that a certain container or containers in any student locker contain evidence of a student's violation of the law or school rule, the principal, vice principal, or principal's designee may search the container or containers according to the provisions of RCW 28A.600.230(2).

[1990 c 33 § 504; 1989 c 271 § 247. Formerly RCW 28A.67.330.]

Drug Dog Search:  Random sniffing by drug-detection dogs of property, such as lockers and rooms, without reasonable suspicion can be conducted.  Once the dog makes a positive alert searching through containers within the room or locker is considered a search and the dog’s alert satisfies the reasonable-suspicion standard. (Search & Seizure; See specifics on regulations for law enforcement and searches using dogs in WAC 139.05.915.)
Drug and Alcohol Intervention Program:  The Student Health Service at Washington State School for the Blind provides an intervention program to be determined by the nursing staff. Other programs may be acceptable with prior approval.