• Extra-Curricular Code of Conduct Policy

    Illegal Substances

     

    This policy is designed by the Board of Directors and the Administration of the Octorara Area School District to find a balance between the privilege of representing the school and the community in extra-curricular activities, the rights of parents and students, and the need for consistent governance. The term activity, as defined below, will be used instead of extra-curricular activity for the remainder of this document.

     

    First, the privilege of representing the school and community calls for a higher standard of personal conduct in school, in the community, and on the field of play, court, or whatever venue is the host of the activity. That being stated, the expectation and the consequences for failing to meet the expectation will be and should be higher for participants. One should not pursue the activity without this understanding and a willingness to accept this premise. There is the opportunity for overwhelming success and for traumatic disappointment. Neither should be a measure of who one is or who one becomes – success and disappointment are just part of living.

     

    Second, the rights of parents and students must be honored. There is a balance that must be struck in this policy that does not allow school or community standards to trump parental and family values. Parents make decisions on what is best in raising their children. This policy should assume that parents make decisions believing they have their child’s best interest in mind.  However, the best interest in one parent’s mind may not always be aligned with the best interest of another parent.

     

    Finally, the system of governance must be able to be viewed by reasonable people as reasonable – not always fair or equitable – but reasonable. There needs to be some level in determining “burden of proof” that is by consensus seen to be reasonable.

     

    It is in the spirit of trying to find the balance between the privilege of representing the school and the community in activities, the rights of parents and students, and the need for consistent governance that the outline below is presented for how the administration will proceed in matters of the Extra-Curricular Code of Conduct Policy for Illegal Substances.

     

    Definitions:

    ActivityFor the purpose of this policy an activity is school sponsored and not an academic requirement (examples: sports team, club, theatre productions)

     

    Activity Season – For the purpose of this policy an activity season is the time from the start of an activity until the end of the activity (example: fall sports season, winter sports season, spring sports season, full year club)

    CondoningFor the purpose of this policy condoning is showing acceptance of a behavior by knowingly and/or willingly remaining in association with the illegal possession and/or illegal use of illegal substances. Example:  If one is to ask the question, could I have removed myself from a situation in which there were illegal substances being used and I chose not to, and the answer is no, I did not remove myself, then this is condoning.  (examples: arriving at a party and staying at the party after discovering that illegal substances are being used, sending electronic messages promoting illegal behavior) It is not condoning if one is at a family gathering and parents and aunts and uncles are drinking beer.

     

    Illegal SubstanceFor the purpose of this policy this term refers to alcohol (for anyone not of legal age), controlled drugs, and prescription drugs for which the consumer does not have a doctor’s order. Nicotine products are not included in this definition of illegal substances.

     

    Enforcement Calendar:

     

    This policy is in effect from the first day of the PIAA fall training season to the last day of school for students.

     

    Rationale:        This is to ensure students that violate the policy during the final days of an activity season have comparably reasonable consequences to students that violate the policy during the early days of an activity season.

     

    Enforcement When Under the Supervision of the School:

     

    If it comes to the attention of an administrator that any student participating in an activity has been using or condoning the use of an illegal substance at school or at a school-related event, no matter where the event is held, that student will, on the first offense, be suspended from participating in either his/her current activity, or if out of season, his/her next activity season in which that student is a participant, for ten (10) school days starting either a) the date of the suspension or b) the next activity season. The next activity season may be in a new school year.

     

    Rationale:        During the school year and during school or school-related event a prospective participant in an activity should be held to a higher standard and not be given an off-season pass on violating activity participation code of conduct.

     

    A second offense during the high school career will result in the student being removed from eligibility to participate in activities for a calendar year from the date of the second offense.

     

    Rationale:        A second offense during a school or school-related event is brazen disregard for the school and community standards far beyond even what the general student population would typically experience let alone for a student representing the school and community in an activity.

     

    All activity participants found to have been using or condoning the use of an illegal substance at school or at a school-related event will be referred to complete the standard District drug and alcohol assessment. Students will not be permitted to return to their activity until they provide documentation that they have received an intake date for the drug and alcohol assessment.  Students will be required, before they may participate again in an activity, to provide; 1) documentation of completion of the drug and alcohol assessment, and 2) documentation that the student is participating in the recommendations from the counseling service, or has completed all recommendations from the counseling service, or that there were no recommendations made by the counseling service. (Note: The administrator in charge of athletics may adjust this timeline in the event of a late activity season violation that prohibits the completion of the assessment in timely fashion before the start of a new activity season.) Documentation must be submitted to the administrator in charge of athletics and his approval must be given in writing to the activity coach/supervisor before the student is permitted to return to the activity or start a new activity.

     

    Rationale:        The drug and alcohol assessment is standard for all students that violate the District substance policy.  The standard for a participant in a school sponsored activity should require that the student is in fact completing the assessment and receiving the counseling that may be necessary before returning to the activity.

     

    Enforcement When Outside the Supervision of the School:

     

    If it comes to the attention of an administrator that a student participant in an activity has been using or condoning the use of illegal substances off campus at non-District related events, the student will be 1) suspended from participating in the activity for five (5) school days and 2) referred for a drug and alcohol assessment.  Students will not be permitted to return to their activity until they provide documentation that they have received an intake date for the drug and alcohol assessment.  Students will be required, before they may participate again in an activity, to provide; 1) documentation of completion of the drug and alcohol assessment, and 2) documentation that the student is participating in the recommendations from the counseling service, or has completed all recommendations from the counseling service, or that there were no recommendations made by the counseling service. (Note: The administrator in charge of athletics may adjust this timeline in the event of a late activity season violation that prohibits the completion of the assessment in timely fashion before the start of a new activity season.) Documentation must be submitted to the administrator in charge of athletics and his approval must be given in writing to the activity coach/supervisor before the student is permitted to return to the activity or start a new activity.

     

    Rationale:        The privilege of representing the school and community calls for a higher standard of personal conduct in the community.

     

    Team Contracts:

     

    Activity coaches and advisors should provide contracts and/or manuals with expectations for being a part of any activity. This policy is a required part of all such contracts and/or manuals. Regulations and expectations related to the use or condoning of illegal substance are uniform for all activities sponsored by the Octorara Area School District as outlined in this policy. All students participating in an activity must read and sign a form acknowledging they have read and understand the policy prior to being allowed to begin the activity.  

     

    Burden of Proof:

     

    The following are examples of proof that may be acceptable in making decisions related to this policy. However, potential burden of proof is not limited to this list:

    Eye witness testimony, nurses’ evaluations, pictures and videos and any evidence found during investigation by the administration. Each of these forms of proof will be measured against a standard of reasonable interpretation of the evidence given the totality of the circumstances. If a parent or student questions the reasonableness of the proof in a case the superintendent is the final appeal in the process.