Virginia - Alcohol and Drug-use Prohibitions or Restrictions: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law prohibits the sale, possession, or use of alcohol or controlled substances andencourages districts to refer students to treatment or offer “safe harbor” immunity from disciplinary action when students seek help for substance use disorders.

Virginia Administrative Code 8VAC20-310-10. Health Education Program.

The Board of Education recognizes that the illegal and inappropriate use of certain substances constitutes a hazard to the development of students. Elementary and secondary schools shall include in the health education program instruction in drugs and drug abuse.
Therefore, the public schools of the Commonwealth shall:

  1. Be concerned with education and prevention in all areas of substance use and abuse.
  2. Establish and maintain a realistic, meaningful substance abuse prevention and education program that shall be developed and incorporated in the total education program.
  3. Establish and maintain an ongoing in-service substance abuse prevention program for all school personnel.
  4. Cooperate with government and approved private agencies involved with health of students relating to the abuse of substances.
  5. Encourage and support pupil-run organizations and activities that will develop a positive peer influence in the area of substance abuse.
  6. Create a climate whereby students may seek and receive counseling about substance abuse and related problems without fear of reprisal.

Virginia Administrative Code 8VAC20-560-10. Reportable Incidents.

The principal of each public school shall collect and maintain information on the following events which occur on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, and shall report the information semi-annually to the division superintendent on dates established by the superintendent. The division superintendent shall submit annually to the Department of Education, on forms provided by the department, an aggregate report of such incidents on or before the last day of October.

  1. Incidences of crime and violence.
    • a. Physical battery.
    • (1) On school personnel by students.
    • (2) On students by students.
    • (3) On students by persons other than students.
    • b. Sexual battery.
    • (1) On school personnel by students.
    • (2) On students by students.
    • (3) On students by persons other than students.
    • c. Homicides.
    • (1) On school personnel by students.
    • (2) On students by students.
    • (3) On students by persons other than students.
    • d. Possession of weapons.
    • e. Possession of alcohol.
    • f. Possession of drugs.
    • g. Possession of tobacco products.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-277.2:1. Disciplinary authority of school boards under certain circumstances; alternative education program.

A. A school board may, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article, require any student who has been (i) charged with an offense relating to the Commonwealth's laws, or with a violation of school board policies, on weapons, alcohol or drugs, or intentional injury to another person, or with an offense that is required to be disclosed to the superintendent of the school division pursuant to subsection G of § 16.1-260; (ii) found guilty or not innocent of an offense relating to the Commonwealth's laws on weapons, alcohol, or drugs, or of a crime that resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, or of an offense that is required to be disclosed to the superintendent of the school division pursuant to subsection G of § 16.1-260; (iii) found to have committed a serious offense or repeated offenses in violation of school board policies; (iv) suspended pursuant to § 22.1-277.05; or (v) expelled pursuant to § 22.1-277.06, 22.1-277.07, or 22.1-277.08, or subsection C of § 22.1-277, to attend an alternative education program. A school board may require such student to attend such programs regardless of where the crime occurred. School boards may require any student who has been found, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article, to have been in possession of, or under the influence of, drugs or alcohol on a school bus, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity in violation of school board policies, to undergo evaluation for drug or alcohol abuse, or both, and, if recommended by the evaluator and with the consent of the student's parent, to participate in a treatment program.


Code of Virginia § 22.1-277.08. Expulsion of students for certain drug offenses.

A. School boards shall expel from school attendance any student whom such school board has determined, in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article, to have brought a controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or marijuana as defined in § 18.2-247 onto school property or to a school-sponsored activity. A school administrator, pursuant to school board policy, or a school board may, however, determine, based on the facts of a particular situation, that special circumstances exist and no disciplinary action or another disciplinary action or another term of expulsion is appropriate. A school board may, by regulation, authorize the division superintendent or his designee to conduct a preliminary review of such cases to determine whether a disciplinary action other than expulsion is appropriate. Such regulations shall ensure that, if a determination is made that another disciplinary action is appropriate, any such subsequent disciplinary action is to be taken in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a student's expulsion regardless of the facts of the particular situation.
B. Each school board shall revise its standards of student conduct to incorporate the requirements of this section no later than three months after the date on which this act becomes effective.

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