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.
Code of Vermont Rules 22-000-009 Section 4212 Policy Requirements
School districts shall adopt an alcohol and drug abuse policy which shall contain the following: 4212.1 Statement of Philosophy. This policy shall be concerned with the health and well-being of all students and the policy shall take into consideration the individual needs of students with problems as well as the right of the majority of students to an education. 4212.2 Education Program. The policy shall define an educational program consistent with the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Education Curriculum Plan. 4212.3 Support and Referral Systems and Cooperative Agreements. The policy shall provide for a support and referral system for students in distress due to their own or another's use of alcohol or other drugs. Such a system shall include both a clearly defined in-school process for initial assessment, support, and if necessary, referral to community resources of such students, and a written referral agrement with at least one community substance abuse treatment provider approved by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs. Such an agreement should define the process for making an effective referral and the nature and extent of information to be provided during and after such a referral to all parties involved.
- 4212.3A Immediate Procedures. The policy shall provide for the handling of any alcohol/drug-related incident until the student has been discharged to the parent, guardian, social service, medical or law enforcement agency.
- 4212.3B Emergency. The school district policy shall establish procedures for administering emergency first-aid related to alcohol and drug abuse. The procedures will define the roles of the personnel involved.
Vermont Statutes 16 V.S.A. § 1165. Alcohol and drug abuse
(a) The State Board, in consultation with local school boards, the alcohol and drug division, the law enforcement authorities, and the juvenile court system shall formulate a general policy for the education, discipline, and referral for rehabilitation of students who are involved with alcohol or drug abuse on school property or at school functions. (b) The State Board shall adopt rules for all school districts that include Standard consistent with due process of law for discipline, suspension, or dismissal of students and recommended procedures for education and for referral for treatment and rehabilitation. (c) Each school district shall adopt its own policy consistent with the State Board's rules setting forth: recommended procedures for education; referral for treatment, counseling, and rehabilitation; and Standard consistent with due process of law for discipline, suspension, or dismissal of students in accordance with section 1162 of this title. Nothing in this section is intended to mandate local school districts to employ counselors for treatment or rehabilitation. (d) [Repealed.] (e) No municipality, school district, or officer or employee of the school district shall be liable for civil damages in connection with the implementation of the purposes of this section so long as they have acted in good faith and not knowingly in violation of the constitutional or civil rights of any person.