State law prohibits the sale, possession, or use of alcohol or controlled substances and encourages districts to refer students to treatment or offer â€œsafe harborâ€ immunity from disciplinary action when students seek help for substance use disorders.
Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.150 Suspension or expulsion of pupils.
(a) Each local board of education shall adopt a policy requiring the expulsion from school for a period of not less than one (1) year for a student who is determined by the board to have brought a weapon to a school under its jurisdiction. In determining whether a student has brought a weapon to school, a local board of education shall use the definition of “unlawful possession of a weapon on school property” stated in KRS 527.070.
(b) The board shall also adopt a policy requiring disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion from school, for a student who is determined by the board to have possessed prescription drugs or controlled substances for the purpose of sale or distribution at a school under the board’s jurisdiction, or to have physically assaulted or battered or abused educational personnel or other students at a school or school function under the board’s jurisdiction. The board may modify the expulsion requirement for students on a case-by-case basis. A board that has expelled a student from the student’s regular school setting shall provide or assure that educational services are provided to the student in an appropriate alternative program or setting, unless the board has made a determination, on the record, supported by clear and convincing evidence, that the expelled student posed a threat to the safety of other students or school staff and could not be placed into a state-funded agency program. Behavior which constitutes a threat shall include but not be limited to the physical assault, battery, or abuse of others; the threat of physical force; being under the influence of drugs or alcohol; the use, possession, sale, or transfer of drugs or alcohol; the carrying, possessing, or transfer of weapons or dangerous instruments; and any other behavior which may endanger the safety of others. Other intervention services as indicated for each student may be provided by the board or by agreement with the appropriate state or community agency. A state agency that provides the service shall be responsible for the cost.
(3) For purposes of this subsection, “charges” means substantiated behavior that falls within the grounds for suspension or expulsion enumerated in subsection (1) of this section, including behavior committed by a student while enrolled in a private or public school, or in a school within another state. A school board may adopt a policy providing that, if a student is suspended or expelled for any reason or faces charges that may lead to suspension or expulsion but withdraws prior to a hearing from any public or private school in this or any other state, the receiving district may review the details of the charges, suspension, or expulsion and determine if the student will be admitted, and if so, what conditions may be imposed upon the admission. (4) School administrators, teachers, or other school personnel may immediately remove or cause to be removed threatening or violent students from a classroom setting or from the district transportation system pending any further disciplinary action that may occur. Each board of education shall adopt a policy to assure the implementation of this section and to assure the safety of the students and staff. (5) A pupil shall not be suspended from the common schools until after at least the following due process procedures have been provided:
- (a) The pupil has been given oral or written notice of the charge or charges against him which constitute cause for suspension;
- (b) The pupil has been given an explanation of the evidence of the charge or charges if the pupil denies them; and
- (c) The pupil has been given an opportunity to present his own version of the facts relating to the charge or charges.
These due process procedures shall precede any suspension from the common schools unless immediate suspension is essential to protect persons or property or to avoid disruption of the ongoing academic process. In such cases, the due process procedures outlined above shall follow the suspension as soon as practicable, but no later than three (3) school days after the suspension.