Health

Yeshiva Drug Guidelines

May 31, 2013

Download the Recommended Yeshiva Drug Guidelines
Or view it below. 

Document #1

The attached is a suggested guideline and does not constitute legal advice. Each school or organization should consult with its own legal advisors prior to adoption or incorporation of any portion of these guidelines.

Note:
This document may be sent out on school letterhead.

Dear Parents:

The use of alcohol and other drugs in the Jewish community is a cause of much concern among educators and parents. Substance abuse endangers the physical, emotional, social and spiritual health of our children and erodes our basic Torah values.

Our school has chosen to be a part of a communal proactive response to this very real problem. We feel this approach will benefit everyone involved by fostering greater social responsibility among parents and students in the entire community. As a participating school in the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network, we have adopted as our mission the creation and maintenance of an alcohol and drug free environment within our schools and at all functions attended by our students. Success in this endeavor requires the cooperation and active involvement of all parents, who must be committed to educating themselves and their children and to monitoring their childrens’ activities both in and away from home.

Together with parents, it is our responsibility as educators to help nurture our students so that they may develop responsible decision-making skills and ultimately grow into emotionally healthy adults. Educating them about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use is just one part of this proactive approach in helping prevent substance abuse among teenagers and assist them in standing up to peer pressure.

The first focus of this program is education and prevention. Our next concern is to intervene and help a student with a potential drug or alcohol problem before it becomes severe. In a situation where there is a suspicion or concern about substance use, in or out of school, the student will be asked to submit to a confidential screening interview, which will be performed by a certified substance abuse counselor. If intervention or treatment of any kind is recommended, then the student and his/her parents will meet with the substance abuse counselor to discuss and implement the treatment plan. As long as the student and his/her parents agree to and abide by the entire plan, the child will remain in good standing throughout the process.

Whenever drug testing is scheduled by the school: 

a. Should a student admit to drug or alcohol usage prior to testing, parents will be contacted, and an intervention plan will begin. We will assist the parents in seeing
that the student receives the necessary help and guidance in a safe environment while
maintaining his or her dignity and confidentiality. The issue also needs to be
confronted promptly to limit the possible negative impact on the greater student body.

b. Should a student not take advantage of the opportunity to come forward and admit to
drug or alcohol usage prior to testing, or denies involvement, those who
consequently end up testing positive may face disciplinary action or expulsion at the
discretion of the school.

It is our goal that by making this an initiative of assistance, students and parents will be more willing to come forward. We hope that students will reach out to a teacher, faculty member or administrator and ask for help, knowing that appropriate adults will be notified and assistance provided.

Because the well-being and development of each child is important to us, both as an individual as well as a member of the community, this policy addresses concerns of substance use, both in and out of school.

Please note that a student will not be allowed to register or attend school without the signatures of the parents/legal guardian and student, committing themselves to the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy.

The Safe Schools Yeshiva Network is a unified communal response to confront the potential dangers and impact of alcohol and other drug use by our children. The Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy was created through the efforts of the Orthodox Union, the Board of Jewish Education, F•E•G•S, in cooperation with the Yeshiva Counseling Network, and with the help and advice of many principals and mental health professionals serving day schools and yeshivot.

Note:
Signatures of school leadership appear below


Document #2

The attached is a suggested guideline and does not constitute legal advice. Each school or organization should consult with its own legal advisors prior to adoption or incorporation of any portion of these guidelines.

Note:
This document is sent out on school letterhead

Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy

I. Parental Consent

a. A student will not be allowed to register or attend school without the signatures of a parent/legal guardian and student on the parent/student consent form, committing themselves to the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy.
b. The parental consent form will be sent home with the school’s tuition contract, and will be due back with the tuition agreement. (The Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy and parent/student consent form may have already been integrated with the yeshiva/school handbook, registration packet, or other policy manual in lieu of a consent form.)

II. Initial Exploration 

If there is a suspicion or concern from any source about alcohol or drug abuse by a student, a designated Faculty Point Person will explore the validity of this matter. If the concern is validated, an initial screening will begin in a timely manner.

III. The School-Designated Faculty Point Person

The school-designated Faculty Point Person will follow through on all students as follows:

a. Perform fact-finding consultation to assess the validity of the concern.
b. If a concern is validated, the student will be referred a certified substance abuse counselor designated or approved by the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network for an in-school screening/testing. (see IV below for details of the process).
c. Limit access to the information.
d. Does not do any of the clinical assessments or treatments.

IV. Screening Process

• Once the concerned party contacts the Faculty Point Person, the party will be thanked for his/her concern and told that the Faculty Point Person is “taking care of the situation.”
• However he/she WILL NOT BE TOLD anything else regarding further intervention to ensure the privacy of the student.
• The Faculty Point Person will advise the school guidance counselor to ensure that all other services the child is receiving are coordinated.
• The Faculty Point Person will contact a certified substance abuse counselor designated or approved by the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network to conduct the screening interview, if warranted.
• The on-campus screening interview, which may be supplemented by a drug test, and/or a parent interview, will then commence as soon as is practical for the school, preferably within five working days – at the expense of the parent.
• The Faculty Point Person, at the discretion of the school will contact the parent/legal guardian before and/or after the screening interview/drug testing takes place.

If it comes to the attention of the school that students attended an event or party where alcohol and drugs may have been used, the school, at its option, may test any student possibly involved, without further parental consent and at parental expense, for illegal drugs and/or alcohol. This on-campus testing will begin as soon as is practical for the school.

When alcohol/drug testing is scheduled by the school: 

a. Should a student admit to drug or alcohol usage prior to testing, parents will be contacted, and an intervention plan will begin. Parents will be assisted in seeing that the student gets the necessary help and guidance in a safe environment while maintaining his or her dignity and confidentiality. This issue also needs to be confronted promptly to limit the possible negative impact on the greater student body.
b. If a student does not admit to drug or alcohol usage prior to testing, the school reserves the right to discipline and/or expel the student if the test comes back positive.

In order to increase the effectiveness and the impact of the intervention, and to encourage an atmosphere within the school in which students feel comfortable seeking help, the school will make every effort to limit access to this information. The principal will, in any instance, be notified if a student refuses to cooperate with the screening or testing.

V. Compliance

If warranted, the substance abuse counselor will make a recommendation for a treatment plan for this student (i.e. outpatient counseling, educational sessions, further or ongoing drug/alcohol testing, inpatient treatment, etc.). A treatment plan agreement will be drawn up between the parents, student and the counselor. The principal will, at his/her discretion, participate in the treatment planning process.

If intervention outside of the school is recommended, the student will be asked to return to school only after he/she has met with an approved mental health professional and the professional indicates in writing that the student is ready to return.

• The treatment provider will be, at a minimum, a licensed mental health professional with a CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) credential or substance abuse specialty.
• All expenses incurred as related to treatment will be the responsibility of the parents.
• Parents and students must sign a release for the treatment provider to communicate with the Faculty Point Person regarding their consistent follow-through and participation in the treatment plan and related issues.
• The Faculty Point Person will monitor the treatment plan to determine that it is being followed.
• If the student does not comply with every aspect of the plan and/or continues to test positive on substance testing, or if the problem is not resolved in the long term, the principal will be informed and the student may be asked to leave the school.

The Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy does not limit the school from managing any other behavioral and/or academic issues that may arise in a manner it deems proper.

VI. Treatment

If the student and parents comply with all parts of the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy (screening, testing, and treatment recommendations) the student will remain enrolled in the school and no notation of the screening, assessment, testing, or treatment will appear on his/her permanent academic record.

VII. Distribution or Selling Drugs On or Off Campus/Other Inappropriate Behavior

In order to ensure the safety of all the school’s students, any student found to be in possession of, or under the influence of any illegal drugs, unauthorized prescription drugs, or alcohol may face potential sanctions/expulsion. The school furthermore reserves the right to take disciplinary action including expulsion if a student distributes or sells alcohol or other drugs on or off campus, and to report to federal and state authorities any illegal activities.

VIII. Random Drug Testing (Note to principals: Remove if random testing does not take place in your school)

a. If a student admits to drug or alcohol usage prior to random testing, parents will be contacted, and an intervention plan will begin.

b. If a student does not admit to drug or alcohol usage prior to random testing, the school reserves the right to discipline and/or expel the student if the test results are positive.

c. Schools have the right to conduct random locker searches at any time.

IX. Safe Homes Directives

As noted above, the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network is committed to the well-being and safety of every student both in and out of school. We therefore seek supervised alcohol and substance-free environments where teens can meet and socialize outside of school as well. We realize that to accomplish that goal we need the families of our students to assert more proactive involvement, and not wait for an “incident” to galvanize us into action. We are therefore incorporating the following Safe Homes Directives into this policy.

Legal Considerations for Schools

It should be noted that there are several legal issues involved in adopting a policy on alcohol and drugs such as the one suggested here, and any such policy should be submitted to your school’s attorneys for review.

The attached is a suggested guideline and does not constitute legal advice. Each school or organization should consult with its own legal advisors prior to adoption or incorporation of any portion of these guidelines.

Safe Homes Directives

a. All social gatherings/parties at homes must be supervised throughout and directly by a parent/legal guardian.
b. Parent/legal guardian will not send a child to any social gathering/party, which is not supervised throughout and directly by a parent/legal guardian.
c. Parent/legal guardian will contact the parent/legal guardian of a teen who is hosting a party to ensure that the above supervision has been arranged.
d. Parents/legal guardian will be available and encourage contact by other parents/legal guardian inquiring as to the whereabouts of their children.
e. No illegal substances, including alcoholic beverages, will be served or accessible to teenagers in parent/legal guardian’s home.
f. If any child arrives at any home function intoxicated, or brings alcohol or other illegal substances, the host will notify a parent/legal guardian that the child has to be picked up immediately.

In addition, we strongly recommend that: 
1. Parent/legal guardian should not leave teens at home overnight without appropriate adult supervision.
2. Parent/legal guardian should not send their teens on unsupervised overnight trips or vacations.
3. No alcoholic beverages including beer should be served or accessible to teenagers in any social setting.

The attached is a suggested guideline and does not constitute legal advice. Each school or organization should consult with its own legal advisers prior to adoption or incorporation of any portion of these guidelines.

Parent/Student Consent

I agree to comply with all elements listed in the Safe Schools Yeshiva Network Policy.

I give permission for my child to undergo screening/testing as determined by the school.

I understand that if testing/screening is required by the school, it will be at the parent/legal guardian’s expense.

Note to principals: If your school has random drug testing, include the line below.
 I give permission for my child to participate in the random drug-testing program.

Signature of Parent/Guardian _____________________________

Signature of Parent/Guardian _____________________________

Signature of Student ____________________________________

Dated: ______________________________________________