Hamden Public Schools District Policies

5131.6 - Alcohol Use, Drugs, and Tobacco (including Performance Enhancing Substances)

Pursuant to the goal of the Board of Education to maintain a drug, tobacco and alcohol-free school district, schools shall take positive action through education, counseling, parental involvement, and medical and police referral in handling incidents in the schools involving possession, sale, and/or use of behavior affecting substances. These substances shall include but not be limited to alcohol and controlled substances as defined in the Penal Code of the State of Connecticut. 

Alcohol, tobacco, stimulants, street drugs, including but not limited to marijuana, heroin and cocaine; anabolic steroids, hormones and analogues, diuretics and other performance enhancing substances including supplements and Creatine, are addressed by this policy and accompanying administrative regulations. 

Possessing, using, or transmitting any substance which is represented to be or looks like a narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, stimulant, depressant, or intoxicant of any kind, including such substances that contain chemicals which produce the same effect of illegal substances are addressed by this policy. 


Drugs are defined as any substance other than food or water that is intended to be taken or administered (ingested, injected, applied, implanted, inhaled, etc.) for the purpose of altering, sustaining, or controlling the recipient's physical, mental, or emotional state. Drugs may include, but not be limited to, alcoholic beverages; controlled substances such as marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, barbiturates, amphetamines, narcotics; and non-authorized prescription drugs. 

Controlled substances, for purposes of this policy shall include all controlled substances prohibited by federal and state law, look-alike drugs, alcoholic beverages, anabolic steroids, drug paraphernalia, any volatile solvents or inhalants, such as but not limited to glue and aerosol products, and prescription or patent drugs, except those for which permission for use in school has been granted pursuant to Board policy. 

Under the influence, for purposes of this policy shall include any consumption or ingestion of controlled substances by a student. 

Electronic nicotine delivery system means an electronic device that may be used to simulate smoking in the delivery of nicotine or other substance to a person inhaling from the device, and includes, but is not limited to, an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe or electronic hookah and any related device and any cartridge or other component of such device. 

Liquid nicotine container means a container that holds a liquid substance containing nicotine that is sold, marketed or intended for use in an electronic nicotine delivery system or vapor product, except "liquid nicotine container" does not include such a container that is prefilled and sealed by the manufacturer and not intended to be opened by the consumer. 

Vapor product means any product that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit or other electronic, chemical or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, to produce a vapor that may or may not include nicotine that is inhaled by the user of such 

Possession by the Principal as Agent 

The Principal in each school, as authorized agent of the Board of Education, is personally responsible for holding contraband materials, including controlled drugs, and for delivering them to the proper public authorities. The Principal receives a receipt from the police officer 
who takes possession of the contraband materials. 

Privacy Rights 

Personal privacy rights of students shall be protected as provided by law. School properties may be inspected by school authorities to maintain health and safety. Searches to locate drugs, narcotics, liquor, weapons, poisons, and missing properties are matters relating to health and safety and may be regarded as reasonable grounds for searches by school personnel. 

Privileged communication between a certified or paraprofessional employee and a student concerning drug abuse shall remain confidential except in cases where the employee is obtaining physical evidence of a controlled substance, and/or where there is an immediate threat to, or where students' health, safety, and welfare may be jeopardized. 

Illegal Activities 

Use, possession, sale or distribution of drugs, including prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia and/or alcoholic beverages in violation of state law or Board of Education policy is prohibited at any time on school premises or at any school-sponsored activity. If a student is under the 
influence of a drug or alcohol, or engaged in the illegal activity of possessing or selling drugs and/or alcohol, the police will be notified, his/her parent(s)/guardian will be contacted, he/she will be suspended from school, and considered for expulsion. In cases of the illegal activity of possessing or selling drugs or alcohol, students will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. If a student is arrested and is awaiting trial for possession of, or possession of with intent to sell drugs in or on school property or at a school-sponsored event, the student will not be allowed to attend school without the permission of the Superintendent, per the guidelines set forth in Policy #5114. 

Notification of Policy 

Annually, students will be notified through the student handbook, or through other means, of disciplinary sanctions for violation of this policy. 
Principals shall include statements, appropriate to student maturity, in school handbooks and on District/school websites to the effect that: 

  1. the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, dispensing, possession or use of controlled substances, other illegal drugs, performance-enhancing substances, alcohol or tobacco, including electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products, is prohibited in school, on school grounds, on school transportation and at school sponsored activities;
  2. compliance with the standards of conduct stated in the handbook is mandatory;
  3. a violation of its provisions will subject students to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and referral for prosecution: and
  4. CIAC controlled activities at the high school and middle school levels sponsored by the District/school are included in this policy and accompanying administrative regulations.
  5. CIAC may impose sanctions beyond those applied by the District for the use of performance ­enhancing substances, as defined in this policy, by athletes.

Disciplinary Action 

Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action which includes, but is not limited to, suspension or expulsion, and/or another recommended program. Student athletes who violate this policy, participating in CIAC-controlled activities shall also be declared ineligible for such activities in accordance with CIAC policy and regulation. Any disciplinary actions imposed will ensure that similar violations will be treated consistently. 

The Superintendent shall propose and the Board of Education shall approve procedures and regulations to ensure that any student violating this policy is subjected to disciplinary action, and that any disciplinary actions imposed for similar violations are treated consistently. 

The following guidelines for reporting alleged violations are to be followed: 

  1. If an employee suspects student possession, use, abuse, distribution or sale of controlled substances, other illegal drugs, performance-enhancing drugs, alcohol, or tobacco/tobacco products the employee shall refer the matter to the Principal or his/her designee. The Principal or designee will notify the student's parent/guardian, recommend a specific assessment, as appropriate, and contact law enforcement personnel as appropriate.
  2. If an employee obtains physical evidence of a controlled substance, other illegal drug, drug paraphernalia, performance-enhancing drugs, alcohol, tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia from a student in school, on school grounds, on school provided transportation or at a school sponsored event, the employee shall turn the student and the controlled substance over to the school principal or designee. The Principal will notify the student's parent/guardian, recommend a specified assessment as appropriate, notify law enforcement personnel and shall surrender possession of the controlled substance to the proper authorities within the time period required by state law.

Drug-Free Awareness Program 

The Superintendent shall assure that the school District provides a drug-free awareness program for students including the following topics: 

  • Healthy and safety-related dangers of drug abuse;
  • Review of the Board of Education's policy of maintaining drug-free schools;
  • Notification of the availability of drug counseling and rehabilitation programs; and
  • Official penalties for drug abuse violations in schools.

Drugs and Alcohol 

It is the policy of the Board to prevent and prohibit the use ( except as duly authorized through the school nurse), possession, distribution or sale of any drug, drug paraphernalia, or alcohol by any student at any time on school property, at school-sponsored events or on school-provided transportation. The District provides (1) a supportive environment for recovering chemically dependent students during and/or after their involvement in a treatment program for chemical dependency; and will provide (2) assistance to those students who are affected by drug/alcohol possession or use by others. Any student in District schools found to be using, selling, distributing, in possession of or under the influence of intoxicants, mood altering drugs or substances, or look-alike drugs, or in possession of any related drug paraphernalia during a school session, on school premises, or anywhere at a school-sponsored activity or trip, o school• provided transportation, or otherwise off school grounds when such student's conduct violates the substance abuse policy and is seriously disruptive of the educational process shall be subject to consequences as stated in the student handbook.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs (including food supplement) 

In addition to the prohibition pertaining to alcohol, drugs, tobacco and inhalants, the Board of Education prohibits the use, possession, distribution or sale of performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids and food supplements, including Creatine, by students involved in school-related athletics or any co-curricular or extracurricular school activity/program, other than use for a valid medical purpose as documented by a physician. Bodybuilding and enhancement of athletic ability and performance are not considered valid medical purposes. 

School personnel and coaches will not dispense any drugs, medication or food supplements except as in compliance with Connecticut State law, District policy and as prescribed by a student's physician, dentist, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse. 

Students shall be made aware of the dangers of steroid abuse and that such abuse, unauthorized possession, purchase, or sale will subject them to disciplinary action and CIAC sanctions. 

Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. The Superintendent shall propose, and the Board of Education shall approve, procedures and regulations to ensure that any student violating this section is subjected to disciplinary action, and that any disciplinary actions imposed for similar violations are treated consistently. 
It is the expectation of the Board that district schools, as members of CIAC require all athletes playing in CIAC-controlled sports to be chemical free. 

Tobacco/E-Cigarette Use by Students 

There shall be no smoking or any other unauthorized use or possession of tobacco, tobacco products, including chewing tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia, and electronic nicotine delivery systems or vapor products by students in any school building or school vehicle at any time or on any school grounds during the school day or at any time when the student is subject to the supervision of designated school personnel such as when the student is at any school function, extracurricular event, field trip, or school related activity such as a work-study program. An ongoing program of student support and counseling will be offered to provide support for students who wish to break the smoking habit. 

Tobacco includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, nicotine, nicotine delivery systems or vapor product, chemicals, or devices that produce the same flavor or physical effect of nicotine substances; and any other tobacco or nicotine innovations. 

Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. The Superintendent shall propose and the Board of Education shall approve procedures and regulations to ensure that any student violating this policy is subjected to disciplinary action, and that any disciplinary actions imposed for similar actions are treated consistently. 

Medical Marijuana 

Although possession and use of marijuana for certain medical conditions, consistent with Connecticut's P.A. 12-55, "An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana," as amended by P.A. 16-23, is no longer a crime in Connecticut, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Consistent with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the use and or possession of marijuana continues to be prohibited while a student is on a school bus, at school, on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity. The District will continue to enforce its policies regarding controlled substances and any students who violate District policy prohibiting the use, sale or possession of illegal drugs in District facilities and school property will be subject to disciplinary and criminal action. 
(cf. 5114-Suspension/Expulsion) 
(cf. 5125 Student Records; Confidentiality) 
(cf. 5131-Conduct) 
(cf. 5131.61 Inhalant Abuse) 
(cf. 5144 Discipline) 
(cf. 5145.12 Search and Seizure) 
(cf. 6164.11 Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco) 

Legal Reference: 

Connecticut General Statutes 

1-21b Smoking prohibited in certain places.

10-19 Teaching about alcohol, nicotine or tobacco, drugs and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Training of personnel.

10-154a Professional communications between teacher or nurse
and student. Surrender or physical evidence obtained from

10-221(d) Boards of education to prescribe rules re use, sale of possession.

21a-240 Definitions, dependency producing drugs. 

21a -240(8) Definitions "Controlled Drugs," dependency producing drugs. 

21a-240(9) Definitions "controlled substance." 

21a-243 Regulation re schedules of controlled substances. 

21a-408 et. seq. Palliative Uses of Marijuana (as amended by P.A. 16-23) 

53-198 Smoking in motor buses, railroad cars and school buses.

P.A. 11-73 An Act Regulating the Sale and Possession of Synthetic Marijuana and Salvia Divinorum. 

P.A. 12-55 An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana. 

P.A. 16-23 An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana 

P.A. 14-76 An Act Concerning the Governor's Recommendations Regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Youth Smoking Prevention. 

P.A. 15-206 An Act Regulating Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products Federal Regulation 34 CFR Part 85 Drug-free Schools & Communities Act. 

20 U.S.C. Section 7181 et. seq., No Child Left Behind Act. 

Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. (part of s.3187, the 
Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act) 

New Jersey v. T.L.O, 469 U.S. 325 (1985). 

Veronia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646. (1995) 

Board of Education of Independent School District No 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls 01- 332 U.S. (2002). 


Policy adopted:  June 8, 2004

Policy amended and adopted June 13, 2017

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut