NEPN/NSBA Code: JFCL
The Yarmouth School Committee believes that students who have consumed alcohol or are in possession of alcohol at Yarmouth High School (YHS) pose a direct safety risk to themselves, staff, other students, and the community-at-large.
To minimize this risk and to contribute to a safe environment at YHS dances, the School Committee authorizes administrators to administer breathalyzer tests to students at YHS dances in accordance with the provisions of Part A and B below. The purpose of this policy is to authorize the use of the breathalyzer test under Part A to screen students as they enter a YHS dance; and, under Part B to screen students when reasonable suspicion exists that a student has consumed alcohol or is in possession of alcohol at a YHS dance.
One week before each YHS dance, administrators shall send notice to parents and students whether breathalyzers will be administered to all students entering the dance and/or if breathalyzers will only be administered due to reasonable suspicion.
The administrators giving such tests shall be competent professionals who have been trained in the use of the breathalyzer.Best efforts will be used to ensure the confidentiality of the test and the test results.
Part A: Use of breathalyzer to screen students as they enter a Yarmouth High School dance.
In order to be confident that no students are entering a YHS dance under the influence of alcohol, administrators may choose to conduct a breathalyzer test of all students entering the dance.
If a student’s test result is positive, (s)he shall be disciplined in accordance with the Chemical Use Policy, and the parents/guardians notified.
Any student who refuses to take a breathalyzer test in order to be admitted to the YHS dance will not be allowed to enter the dance and his/her parents/guardians will be notified of the student’s refusal to take the breathalyzer. If it is determined that there is reasonable suspicion that the student is either under the influence of or in possession of alcohol, administrators will follow the policy outlined in Part B, below.
Part B: Use of breathalyzer to screen students for which reasonable suspicion exists that a student has consumed alcohol or is in the possession of alcohol at a YHS dance.
If an administrator has reasonable suspicion to believe that a student either has consumed alcohol or is in possession of alcohol at a YHS dance, a breathalyzer test may be administered to that student. If a breathalyzer test is administered upon reasonable suspicion, a report shall be prepared indicating the outcome of the test and that report will be sent to the parents/guardians. If a student’s test result is positive, (s)he shall be disciplined in accordance with the Chemical Use Policy, and the parents/guardians notified.
If an administrator has reasonable suspicion to believe that a student either is using alcohol or is in possession of alcohol, and the student refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test, the student shall be advised of the consequences of such a refusal. If the student continues to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, such refusal, along with any other relevant evidence or information, will be considered to determine whether or not a student has consumed or is in possession of alcohol and if such a determination is made the student will be disciplined in accordance with the Chemical Use Policy, and the parent/guardians notified.
The Chemical Use Policy, in its entirety, is available in the Yarmouth School Committee Policy Manual. It states in part, that:
Any violation of the terms of this policy shall constitute sufficient grounds for student discipline, including suspension or expulsion from school, at the appropriate discretion of the administration and the School Committee. Appropriate law enforcement authorities shall also be notified of violations of this policy. Students who participate in athletics and co-curricular activities are subject to additional rules and sanctions as described in Yarmouth School Committee policy JJ-R, Extracurricular Code of Conduct.
The term “breathalyzer” shall include the portable Alco-Sensor FST or other reliable and commercially available mechanism(s).
The term “Yarmouth High School dance” refers to a dance sponsored by Yarmouth High School that takes place either at Yarmouth High School or at any other location.
The term “reasonable suspicion” may be satisfied by conduct including, but not limited to, physical impairment, unusual behavior, blood shot or glassy eyes, odor of alcoholic beverages or on the basis of any other behavior or information that provides a reasonable suspicion that the student has consumed alcohol or is in possession of alcohol.
Approved: October 11, 2012