Substance Abuse By Students

Princeton Public SchoolsBoard of Education Policy 5131.6
Abridged version for Middle School only


The possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, anabolic steroids, or controlled dangerous substances as defined under statue (N.J.S.A. 24:21-2), or use of chemicals (e.g. glues, solvents) which can cause changes in the emotional and/or physical state of the individual, or of any prescription drug except those for which permission for use in school has been granted, is illegal, dangerous, and creates a serious obstacle to education. Therefore, students who possess, use, distribute, or allow themselves to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substances (CDS) on school property or at school-sponsored activities are in violation of State law and Board of Education Policy and shall be subject to the provisions of these procedures.


Possession, Use, or Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances or Drug Paraphernalia, Alcoholic Beverages 

  1. Any staff member who seizes, discovers or has reason to believe that a student has in possession or in any way involved in the distribution of any substance or item believed to be a controlled dangerous substance, drug paraphernalia or alcoholic beverages shall immediately notify and turn over the material to the principal.
  2. The principal shall notify the superintendent, who will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. 
  3. The superintendent shall provide all information concerning the matter, including the identity of the student involved. 
  4. In the event of suspected substance abuse, chemical screening must be conducted immediately. The parent(s)/guardian shall be informed of their right to have the medical examination conducted with a physician of their choice at parental expense. If the parent(s)/guardian requests a medical examination by a physician other than by the physician at the district-designated medical facility, the examination shall be conducted immediately.
  5. Any student, who, as a result of the chemical screening, is determined to be substance-free shall be notified by the building principal of his/her status and be immediately reinstated. The building principal shall also immediately notify the parent(s)/guardian regarding the student’s status and the student’s reinstatement.
  6. Any student who, as a result of the chemical screening, is determined to have been under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol shall be subject to disciplinary action. 


Possession, Use, Distribution – shall include the following:

  1. Immediate suspension for 5 days of school.
  2. Upon return, loss of extracurricular privileges for a minimum of two weeks.
  3. A case manager will be assigned to monitor the status of the student.
  4. The substance awareness coordinator, parent(s)/guardian and student will develop a Reentry Agreement that includes a Student Behavioral Contract.
  5. State law requires that possession of drugs be reported to the police. The superintendent will determine whether the possession and/or use of alcohol should be reported to the police. 


Shall include the following:

  1. Immediate suspension for 5 days of school
  2. Report of the incident shall be made to the police
  3. Long-term suspension or expulsion proceedings before the Board of Education shall be instituted. 

Criteria and Range of Penalties for Board Action

Criteria and a range of penalties for consideration when disciplinary action is necessary in cases of substance abuse by student(s) shall be available to the Board of Education. Penalties may be invoked singularly or in combinations based upon the circumstances of the individual case(s). The following shall act as guidelines to the Board of Education in determining disciplinary action:

  1. Reentry Agreement
  2. Community Service
  3. Abbreviated School Day
  4. In-School Detention
  5. In-Home or Off Site Instruction
  6. Alternative Education Program
  7. Third-Party Substance Evaluation/Assessment
  8. Random Drug Screening
  9. In-School Suspension
  10. Suspension
  11. Referral to the Family/Juvenile Court or DCPP
  12. Expulsion


Students who voluntarily acknowledge an alcohol or drug problem to the staff or administration and voluntarily enroll in an approved substance abuse program may be granted amnesty from the sanctions, for first offenses, providing they refrain from possession or use of controlled dangerous substances.


All information concerning a student’s involvement in a school intervention or treatment program shall be kept strictly confidential in accordance with applicable federal regulations (42 C.F.R. 2). August 2005