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4119.23-4219.23 (R) Under the Influence or Substance Abuse


In accordance with Policy 4119.23/4219.23, the Northfield Board of Education gives the superintendent and his/her designee the directive to create procedures to follow to implement the Employee Substance Abuse Policy.

Substance Abuse

A. Definitions:

1. “Substance” or “substances” means alcoholic beverages, any controlled dangerous substances, including anabolic steroids as defined in N.J.S.A. 24:21-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-2, or any chemical or chemical compound which releases vapors or fumes causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction, or dulling of the brain or nervous system, including, but not limited to, glue containing a solvent having the property of releasing toxic vapors or fumes as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.4, and over-the-counter and prescription medications that are improperly used to cause intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction, or dulling of the brain or nervous system.

2. “Under the influence” means the presence of a substance as defined above as confirmed by a medical examination and substance test.

When an employee is suspected of any of the following:

A. The illegal possession and the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. This is prohibited at all times, and at all school functions on or near school property.

B. The inducing, or attempting to induce others to use illegal drugs and/or alcohol. This is prohibited on school property and at all school functions.

C. Having the appearance of reporting for work or is on school premises with a noticeable odor or suspect behavior (slurred speech, impaired gait, altered consciousness, etc.).

If any of the above occurs, the procedures below are to be followed:

I. Selling, Purchasing, Transferring, or in Possession of Drugs and/or Alcohol

An employee observing another employee on school property selling, purchasing, transferring, or in possession of alcohol or drugs on school property or at school functions, shall report suspicious behavior according to the following procedures:

A. The building principal shall be notified immediately of the suspicious behavior.

B. The building principal or their designee shall investigate the situation to determine the best course of action that may include:

1. Meeting with the employee expediently and when safe and appropriate;

2. Notification of the authorities;

3. Removal from school grounds by the appropriate authorities;


C. The principal shall notify the superintendent immediately;

D. The initial incident shall be documented in writing by the principal and/or his/her designee;

E. Following investigation by the principal and/or authorities, if it is determined that the employee was involved in a sale, purchase, transfer, or possession of alcohol or drugs on school property or at a school function, the principal or his/her designee shall:

1. Notify the employee and provide him/her with a copy of the district’s substance abuse policy and regulation, file code, 4119.23/4219.23.

2. The superintendent shall suspend the employee temporarily from his/her position pending a meeting to be held within 24 hours with the employee and any designated representative.

3. Notify the police.


Discipline for Selling, Purchasing, Transferring, or in Possession of Drugs and/or Alcohol

The appropriate disciplinary action shall be determined at the meeting held within 24 hours. This meeting may include the employee, official representatives of the employee, the Superintendent, the board attorney, the school principal and a police department official when necessary or appropriate.

A. Employees involved in the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of drugs or alcohol shall be reported to the local police department in accordance with law;

B. Employees suspected or known to be using a controlled or illegal substance and also involved in the purchase, transfer, sale , or possession of drugs, shall be reported to the local police department in accordance with law; and

C. Employees awaiting trial may be readmitted to school by the Superintendent after appropriate out of school action (regarding drug or alcohol charges) is taken, and after discussion with the employee and their designated representative(s), school physician and law enforcement authorities.

II. Use of Drugs and/or Alcohol

Employee Needing Immediate Medical Attention

1. All employees shall notify the building principal and school nurse immediately of medical emergencies such as unconsciousness or incoherence which may be alcohol, drug or substance induced.

2. The Principal immediately has the employee accompanied (this could be via wheelchair, walking, whatever is appropriate for the situation) to a private, safe area in the school nurse’s office while providing coverage for the employee’s duty. If the employee is unable to be moved, the students around the employee will be moved.

3. The school nurse shall render immediate aid and ensure emergency medical assistance is called.

4. The building principal shall notify the employee’s designated relative (as noted on his/her emergency information card) as quickly as possible.

5. The employee’s designated representative will be notified of a confidential situation.

6. The employee shall be transported via ambulance to the nearest medical facility and accompanied by the appropriate school personnel.

7. A written statement or accident report shall promptly be submitted to the Business Administrator and Superintendent by the school nurse (including date time circumstances, action taken, other employees involved).


Procedures: Employees Suspected of being Under the Influence

An employee observing or suspecting another employee of being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled or potentially dangerous substance during working hours, shall report the matter to the principal or his/her designee and to the school nurse.

The principal, or designee, shall consult with the school nurse, and/or any other staff members necessary to make a judgment as to whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled or potentially dangerous substance. If so, the principal or, his/her designee, shall arrange for the employee to be taken to the school nurse’s office.

The principal or designee shall:

A. Notify the superintendent;

B. Meet with the employee and provide him/her with a copy of board policy and procedures on substance abuse. The principal, or his/her designee, shall allow the employee the opportunity to respond to the reported violation of the substance abuse policy.

C. If it is determined by the school nurse that there is reasonable evidence to suspect that the employee is under the influence, an immediate comprehensive medical examination including a drug/urine test to detect the presence of drugs and/or a blood test to detect

the blood level of alcohol shall be done. This shall be done at a district designated facility by a physician designated by the board at the expense of the Board of Education. Transportation shall be arranged by the principal;

D. Written results of the comprehensive exam, and tests performed at the medical facility, must be furnished by the physician to the superintendent .

E. An employee’s relative or other designated party may be contacted with the consent of the employee suspected of being under the influence and may be present during this process; and;

F. If the employee refuses the examination and testing then:

1. The principal, or designee, shall tell the individual clearly and firmly that refusal shall result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension and dismissal;

2. The principal, or designee, shall inform the employee that they shall not operate their personal vehicle while under the influence and shall:

a. Offer to arrange transportation home;

b. Allow the employee to call someone and arrange their own transportation off school property;

c. Offer to call the employee’s emergency contact to pick the employee up;

3. If the employee leaves school grounds in defiance of the requirement to secure transportation off school property, the principal, or designee, shall contact local law enforcement and report the incident;

4. If the individual refuses to comply with the requirement to have an immediate medical examination including a drug/alcohol test after being given such clear warning, the principal, or designee, shall immediately notify the superintendent to institute disciplinary action to terminate the individual’s employment.

Medical Examination Results

If the medical examination is positive and/or the testing is positive, the employee shall be suspended from his/her position;

A. Police department shall be notified.

B. Appropriate treatment programs and resources shall be recommended to the employee.


Return to Work

Any employee with an examination result confirming intoxication or drug use and/or who has tested positive for drugs or alcohol shall be required to meet with the principal and the superintendent. At this conference the employee will provide a written report from his/her physician stating that the employee is physically and mentally able to return.

The school physician shall examine the employee and may:

A. Review the employee’s record of behavior;

B. Consult with employee’s immediate supervisor;

C. Arrange a meeting with the employee to discuss the need for treatment/medical attention/family counseling with referrals to community agencies;

D. Explore the necessary related support services which may be provided by the Board of Education;

E. Disseminate information on:

1. Educational facilities within the community;

2. Evaluation and assessment centers;

3. Treatment centers;

4. Support groups;

F. Ensure completion of necessary reports;

The superintendent shall review the report of the school physician in determining if the employee shall be permitted to return to work and what conditions shall be required for return to work.

III. Voluntary Employee Request for Assistance

Whenever an employee voluntarily seeks help from the principal and/or school nurse for substance abuse, the principal or school nurse shall;

A. Reinforce the employee’s actions by expressing approval of a decision to seek help and indicate concern for the employee.

B. Indicate to the employee that he/she can assist the employee in obtaining help.

C. Offer immediate assistance through proper school personnel.

D. A voluntary report by an employee of substance abuse coupled with a request for assistance shall not be subjected to the procedures outlined in sections addressing incidents involving the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of drugs and/or alcohol on school property or at school functions and chemical use/abuse.


IV. Use of Drugs and/or Alcohol – Sanctions

First Offense – Use/Possession of Drugs and/or Alcohol

Employees under the influence of a controlled or illegal substance, or alcohol, shall be notified in writing of:

A. The appropriate discipline;

B. The disciplinary consequences of any further incidents by the designated administrator.

Subsequent/Final Offense

A. The employee shall receive written notification of the disciplinary consequences which may include use of unpaid leave and/or withholding pay and/or tenure charges.


NJSBA Review/Update:

ReAdopted: December 21, 2015




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