Policies and Procedures Handbook


Last Updated: 5/18/2005
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
(301)334-8900

Procedure Relating to Mandatory Standards of Conduct Relating to Drugs, Alcohol, and Controlled Dangerous Substances

Administrative Procedure

I. DEFINITIONS

    In these regulations, the following words have the meanings indicated:

    1. Abuse means:
        a. the illegal use of any drug;
        b. the intentional misuse of any over-the-counter drug when such misuse substantially impairs job performance;
        c. the intentional misuse of any prescription drug which the user will substantially impair job performance or endanger the safety of others in the workplace; or
        d. the unlawful use of alcohol or the use of alcohol at the workplace.

    2. Alcohol means alcoholic beverages and/or any other intoxicating liquid which contains alcohol.

    3. Authorized Test Facility means any organization, clinic, office, or institution, designated by the Superintendent as authorized to perform all, or a portion of, drug or
        alcohol testing.

    4. Conviction means that a person is found guilty of a substance violation in a court of competent jurisdiction, pleads guilty, whether or not by nolo contendere, or under
        North Carolina v. Alford 400 U.S. 25 (1970) and irrespective of whether the employee is or is not granted probation before judgment, a suspended sentence, or any
        other such disposition.

    5. Drug means:
        a. a controlled dangerous substance as defined in Article 27, Section 277 of the Annotated Code of Maryland;
        b. a substance, other than alcohol, caffeine, food, or tobacco, that when taken into the body may substantially impair one's mental faculties or physical performance;
        c. an over-the-counter drug which the user knows may substantially impair job performance or endanger the safety of others in the workplace; or
        d. a prescription drug used in a manner inconsistent with its medically prescribed purpose, or under circumstances where use is not permitted.

    6. Drug or Alcohol Test means any professionally recognized method of determining objectively whether a person has engaged in alcohol or drug use or abuse.

    7. Reasonable Suspicion means the existence of circumstances that present a reasonable cause to believe, based on objective observations, that there has been a
        violation of school board policy and/or this procedure relating to drugs or alcohol.

    8. Substance means anything containing alcohol or any drug.

    9. Workplace means any property owned, leased, or used by the Garrett County School Board for any official business. Workplace shall also include any place where
        any employee of the Board is supervising students or any place where school related activities involving students are taking place.

II. PROHIBITIONS; INVESTIGATIONS

    1. In its effort to maintain a drug-free environment for the education of children in its school system, the Garrett County Public Schools will initially not employ
        anyone who is known to currently abuse any drug as defined herein or abuse alcohol.

    2. Any person covered by the school board's policy relating to drugs and alcohol, who has been offered a position by the Garrett County School Board, shall, before
        reporting to assume that position, provide to the Superintendent of Schools the verified results of a pre-employment drug test done by an authorized test facility, as
        defined herein, taken no more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of its submission. The test shall be sufficient to measure the presence of certain controlled
        dangerous substances in the applicant's body as also noted in Administrative Procedure 853.322.

    3. The Garrett County Public Schools will not tolerate any employee unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, distributing, possessing, or using any controlled
        dangerous substance. Any employee violating the prohibitions of this paragraph shall be considered to have committed insubordination and misconduct in office, and
        shall be subject to sanctions as set forth in Section V(1) herein.

    4. Where justified by reasonable suspicion, reliable information and/or observation, any possible criminal violations shall be referred to the appropriate law enforcement
        authority for further investigation and possible prosecution. Notification of any such referral shall be given immediately to the Superintendent.

    5. Suspected violations of Board policy will be referred to the Superintendent or his designee for further investigation and appropriate action:
        a. A thorough investigation will be conducted into the alleged policy violation(s), and a determination made by the superintendent or his designee regarding the
            employee's involvement in the alleged violation(s).
       
b. Employees may be placed on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted. While the investigation is being conducted, and until such time as the
            Superintendent or the Board takes action against the employee, the administrative leave shall be with pay.

III. DUTY TO REPORT DRUG VIOLATIONS

    1. In the event that any employee of the Board of Education of Garrett County is arrested and/or charged with any drug-related violation, that employee must report the
        arrest or charge to his or her supervisor within five (5) days of the said arrest or charge. Failure to so report will constitute insubordination.

        All employees are required to report to work in a fit condition to perform their duties. Any employee who reports to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol shall
        be considered to have committed insubordination and misconduct in office under Education Article, Section 6-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and shall be
        subject to the provisions of Board Policy 520/620 and the sanctions set forth in this Procedure.

IV. REQUIREMENT FOR TESTING

    1. Effective with the adoption of Board Policy 520/620 and Procedure 520.1/620.1, an administrator, principal, or assistant principal shall have the right, upon reasonable
        suspicion, to report any employee whom he or she suspects of being under the influence of any drug or alcohol to the Superintendent or his designee for a
        determination under the procedures set forth in Section IV(3) herein, as to whether said employee shall be required to submit to an appropriate test to determine the
        presence of said drug or alcohol in his or her body. In the event that the Superintendent or his designee is convinced, after an investigation as provided for under
        section IV (3), the employee is under the influence of alcohol, the Superintendent or his designee shall have the right to require the employee to take a breathalizer
        test, and the employee shall consent or shall have been deemed to have consented to the
result of said test being made available to the school board and the
        Superintendent. In the event that the Superintendent or his designee is convinced that the employee is under the influence of any other drug, the Superintendent or
        his designee shall have the right to require the employee to report, at a specific time, or be transported, to an authorized testing facility for the purpose of a drug test.
        The employee shall consent or shall be deemed to have consented to the results of said testing being made available to the school board and Superintendent. Any
        employee who refuses to be so tested or to so consent shall be considered to have committed insubordination and misconduct in office and shall be subject to
        termination under Section 6-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

    2. The following behaviors and/or indicators may be used to support a reasonable suspicion requiring the need for drug or alcohol testing. The list of behaviors is not
        intended to be all inclusive:
        a. evident odor of alcohol;
        b. needle marks on arms, hands, or other parts of body;
        c. observed use of drugs;
        d. uncharacteristic behaviors such as severe mood swings, abnormal agitation or hyperactivity, explosiveness, altercations or violence;
        e. irrationality;
        f. unusually boisterous or unusually subdued behavior;
        g. slurred and irrational speech;
        h. stumbling or irregular gait;
        i. With the exception of the observed use of illegal drugs (c. above) none of the behaviors or indicators, taken individually, shall necessarily be determinative of a
           reasonable suspicion requiring the need for drug or alcohol testing. It is the intention of the Board that the person making the determination, whether to report an
           employee for investigation by the Superintendent or his designee, or to require testing, shall consider all relevant factors in a fair and objective manner.

    3. Procedure for Requiring Drug or Alcohol Testing:
        a. The appropriate supervisor shall contact the Superintendent or designee with evidence of reasonable suspicion.
        b. If the Superintendent or his designee, after full investigation, is convinced that a reasonable suspicion of alcohol or drug abuse exists, a drug or alcohol test will be
            initiated. During the investigation, the employee shall have an opportunity to be heard by the Superintendent or his designee, if the employee makes himself or
            herself available for that purpose when requested to do so. Under no circumstances, however, shall any employee be required or compelled to participate in an
            investigation, to answer any questions, or to be interviewed during the investigation.

    4. The Board shall indemnify and ensure any administrator, principal, assistant principal, or any other supervisor from any liability, cause of action, etc., which may
        arise as a result of any duty imposed by this section, unless it is found that the administrator, principal, assistant principal, or supervisor shall have violated the
        rights of any employee willfully and with malice. This indemnification includes providing a legal defense, as well as indemnification against any insurance deductible.

V. SANCTIONS FOR DRUG VIOLATIONS

    1. Employee Sanctions: Any employee who is convicted of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using any controlled dangerous
        substance, or paraphernalia, or any illegal or illicit drug, during or off school hours, shall be considered to have committed misconduct in office and, if proper
        notification is given, insubordination, and shall be subject to termination of employment under Section 6-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Moreover, in the
        event that it comes to the attention of the Administration that any employee is unlawfully manufacturing distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using any controlled
        dangerous substance, or abusing any illicit or illegal drug, whether on or off school grounds, and the Board is satisfied by clear and convincing evidence, after a
        hearing, if one is requested, that such is the case, the employee shall be considered to have committed misconduct in office, and, if proper notification is given,
        insubordination, and shall be subject to termination of employment under Section 6-202 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

    2. Hearings: Any person to whom any sanctions set forth in this Procedure may be applied shall be entitled to such hearing as my be provided for by law or Board
        Policy and Procedure.

VI. ASSISTANCE AND REHABILITATION

    1. Employees will not be terminated for seeking assistance from the Administration for a substance abuse problem, provided that they do so voluntarily, and before a    
        problem arises either legally or administratively with the said substance abuse. In the event that an employee voluntarily seeks assistance, the Board and the
        Administration will do everything within their power to provide assistance. Under such circumstances, the employee is required to cooperate fully with the Board and
        the Administration, and is required to abstain from further use of the illegal or illicit drug, or alcohol, during the period of assistance and rehabilitation.  In the event
        that the employee does not abstain from the use of drugs or the abuse of alcohol during the period of assistance and rehabilitation, the employee shall be subject to
        sanctions as provided for herein as if he or she had not sought assistance.  However, unacceptable job performance, irregular attendance, or excessive absences,
        and/or behavior problems which are the consequence of drug or alcohol abuse shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

VII. NOTIFICATION

    1. Employees will be informed of the following:
       
a. the Board's Policy and Procedure for establishing and maintaining a drug and alcohol free workplace;
        b. the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace and the community at large;
        c. any drug and alcohol abuse counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs that are available; and
        d. the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug and alcohol use violations as set forth herein.

    2. Employees covered by Board Policy 520/620 and Procedure 520.1/620.1 shall be required to sign as to their receipt of the above information (form attached).

VIII. ALCOHOL PROHIBITION

    1. The Public Schools will not tolerate employees consuming any alcoholic beverage while at any school workplace or while supervising students or participating in
        a school-related activity in which students are involved.

    2. The Public Schools will not tolerate employees violating any law relating to the use and/or abuse of alcohol, including public drunkenness and/or driving while
        intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.

    3. The word "participating," as used in Sections VIII and IX, shall not include attending a school sporting event or other school event as a fan or observer, off school
        grounds, unless the employee is found to be intoxicated while interacting with students.

IX. SANCTIONS FOR ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS

    1. Any Board employee violating the prohibitions set forth in Section VIII above shall be subject to:
        a. Where the employee is found to have used, consumed, possessed, distributed (except as in Sub-section 1.c.) or been under the influence of alcohol in any
            school, at any time, or on school grounds during school hours, or while supervising students in a school-related activity - sanctions up to and including
            termination.
        b. Where an employee is found to have used, consumed, possessed, distributed (except as in Sub-section 1.c.) or been under the influence of alcohol on school
            grounds after school hours, or while participating in any school-related activity involving students:
            (1) First Offense - a period of suspension up to thirty (30) days without pay.
           
(2) Second Offense - additional sanctions up to and including termination.
        c. Where any employee has distributed any alcohol or alcohol product to a student - termination.
        d. Where any employee is convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or any other alcohol-related offenses, and there is a rational nexus
            between the offense and his or her job performance, so that job performance is impaired, including the impairment of the employee's responsibility to set the
            appropriate example for the students:
            (1) First Offense - reprimanded.
           
(2) Second Offense - within ten (10) years, subject to suspension of up to thirty (30) days without pay.
            (3) Third Offense - within ten (10) years, subject to additional sanctions up to and including termination.

    2. Nothing contained in this section is intended to conflict with the provisions of the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act.

    3. Board Policy 520/620 and Board Procedure 520.1/620.1 do not apply to school bus contractors and drivers, as drug and alcohol policies, including testing, required
        by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) and Federal Regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT), are applicable and have already been
        implemented.

Verification of Receipt of Drug Free Workplace Materials 

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Certificated & Other Professional Personnel 520.1
Supporting Services Personnel 620.1
Adopted 11/8/1990
Revised 4/9/96, with further revisions on 6/11/96 to be effective 7/1/96, with the

exception of Sections VIII. & IX. Sections VIII. & IX. revised on 7/9/96