Statement of Intent
The FIS is committed to maintaining a learning environment free from the misuse of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. The school provides an environment that furthers this goal and promotes the physical and mental health of all students. The curriculum is designed to educate students concerning the harmful effects of legal and illegal drugs. Confirmed and suspected instances of substance abuse will be reported to parents or guardians and the following policy will be adhered to.
Aim and Scope of Policy
The aim of this policy is:
- To combine a balanced educational program with appropriate disciplinary action against any students who misuse tobacco, alcohol, drugs and/or substances
- To promote safety, welfare and good physical and mental health
The policy relates to smoking, vaping, the possession and consumption of alcohol, and the misuse of controlled drugs and other substances, and applies to all students, irrespective of their age, at the FIS. The policy may also apply at times when a student is not in the care of the school. The procedures and sanctions may be adapted as appropriate to meet the policy aims and the circumstances of each case. The school will give due regard to the regulations for Bavarian schools (https://www.gesetze-bayern.de).
Smoking: means drawing into the mouth, and usually the lungs, smoke from burning tobacco. It also refers to inhaling the smoke from burning other drugs and substances (see below). Vaping: means using an e-cigarette. An e-cigarette is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine in a vapor rather than smoke. E-cigarettes do not burn tobacco and do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in tobacco smoke. They work by heating a liquid that typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, and flavorings. The liquid and vapor both contain some potentially harmful chemicals which are also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels. This policy covers possessing or supplying e-cigarettes/vaping devices, and vaping. Alcohol: means intoxicating liquor of all descriptions (including beer, wine and spirits) and this policy covers obtaining, possessing, consuming, and supplying alcohol. Drugs and substances: means controlled substances/drugs and the paraphernalia of drugs, substances intended to resemble drugs (psychoactive substances – legal highs) or legal drugs which can be obtained from a chemist, performance-enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids, glue and other substances held or supplied in each case for purposes of misuse. This policy covers the possession, use and supply of such substances.
Parents have an important and highly influential role to play, both in supporting the education and well-being of their child in relation to the issues in this policy, and in providing a strong home-school partnership to reinforce this policy. The school encourages open discussion between parents and their children so they are aware of the issues and pressures in this area. The school will periodically organize seminars relating to these issues, which parents are encouraged to attend. The school will be alert to issues with the use of alcohol, drugs and other substances by the student’s family members. Where problems are observed or suspected, or a student chooses to disclose, this may become a safeguarding issue. The student’s welfare and support needs will be considered closely.
The school’s primary educational aim regarding smoking, vaping, alcohol, drugs and other substances is to facilitate informed discussions around physiological and psychological implications, especially in regard to the developing teenage brain. Social pressure, social responsibility, risk for dependency or addiction, as well as the legal framework, are key topics addressed within the curriculum. Program effectiveness is reviewed annually by the Assistant Principal and Counselor.
We encourage students to discuss in confidence any anxieties they may have about the smoking, vaping, alcohol, drugs and other substances with a member of staff or the School Counselor. Note, however, that there are limits to confidentiality: where a safeguarding or health risk to a student, or group of students, is identified, this information will be passed on to staff, parents/guardians and/or external agencies as needed, in order to take appropriate actions to protect the student/s from harm. Schools have a key role in identifying students at risk from smoking, vaping, alcohol, drugs and other substances. The school will aim to distinguish between those who require general information and education, and those who could benefit from more targeted prevention.
Support from the Counselor and External Agencies
Students and parents may seek advice from the Counselor. The Counselor will also be able to make recommendations for external agencies and hotlines, examples of which are: NummerGegenKummer Jugendnotmail Erlangen Youth and Family Support Center
The following are forbidden:
- Any possession, use or supply of drugs and substances, on school premises or in the care of the school
- Unauthorized possession, consumption or supplying of alcohol onto school premises or in the care of the school. The consumption of alcohol on the FIS campus is, in general, forbidden; exceptions to this policy (for example, Graduation Day) must be approved by the Director.
- Being impaired by alcohol while on school premises or in the care of the school
- Smoking or vaping on school premises or surroundings, or at any time while in the care of the school
- Bringing the school into disrepute for any reason associated with smoking, vaping, alcohol or drugs and substances, whether or not the student is in the care (‘in loco parentis’) of the school at the time.
Every complaint, report, or observation in relation to alcohol or involvement with drugs and substances will be regarded as a concern. A student suspected of such involvement may be suspended pending the outcome of an inquiry.
Searches and Confiscation
Searches with consent: School staff can search students and their lockers and school bags for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or substances, with their consent, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a student has such an item in their possession. The member of staff will consider the student’s age and other factors when determining whether the student is capable of giving consent. Searches of students or their possessions without the consent of the student or their parents are not permitted. In such cases, where a student refuses to give consent to a search, and where there is a reasonable ground for suspecting that a student has drugs or substances in their possession, the police should be contacted. Searches will be conducted in such a manner as to minimize embarrassment or distress. The search of a student or their possessions will be carried out in the presence of another member of staff or parent. Parents will be informed of the search as soon as is reasonably practicable. Confiscation: On confiscating cigarettes or e-cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or substances, staff should immediately pass the item to a member of SLT, who will determine how the item will be dealt with, and what next steps should be taken.
In general, possession and/or consumption of drugs/alcohol, and disciplinary sanctions, are regarded by the police as mainly an internal matters for the school, to be resolved directly with students and parents. In relation to drugs, the School’s responsibilities and actions will be guided by the regulations for Bavarian schools https://www.gesetze-bayern.de/Content/Document/BayVwV290600-27 Local drug counseling centers are willing to work with schools on prevention education and actions. In general, in cases of a breach of the policy, informing and involving the police is not required and indeed not desired by the police. The police must, however, be informed if an issue arises regarding personal safety/protection of students outside of school, and in any case where there is a suspicion that drugs are being traded. If the school seizes a controlled drug, the drug may be destroyed if there is good reason to do so. Otherwise, the school will deliver it to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Any response to smoking/vaping, alcohol, drugs and substance-related incidents needs to balance the needs of the individual students concerned with those of the wider school community. If the Director’s decision, after considering all the material evidence, is that the student has breached the policy, then the Director will hear mitigating circumstances and consider the student’s academic and disciplinary record and the extent to which he/she has co-operated, before deciding on the sanction. Sanctions should align with the school’s core purpose of promoting student learning. Smoking/Vaping: Step 1: These actions will be taken by the School: confiscation, warning from Principal, letter home and inform Director These further actions may be taken by the School: notify parents by phone, send student home, loss of off-campus rights (fixed period), appointment with nurse/counselor/Head of PE Step 2: As above, plus possible fixed period suspension. Step 3: Parents and student meet with Director, possible fixed period suspension, and student is liable for expulsion, Board notified. Alcohol: Major Breach of Policy: Student is immediately liable for expulsion (Step 3). Drugs: Anyone supplying drugs must expect to be expelled immediately. Anyone possessing or using drugs must also expect to be expelled. Nonetheless, the circumstances of the case and of the individual/s will be carefully reviewed, and a fixed period suspension may instead be applied. The matter will also be referred to the police. Drug use can be a symptom of other problems and a student will be referred to other services where required. Suspension/Expulsion of a Student If a decision is made that a student be suspended for a fixed period, or expelled, the parent/s have the right to request a hearing by the Board of Directors of the decision. The school will be guided by the Bavarian school laws and procedures, which may be viewed here: https://www.gesetze-bayern.de/Content/Document/BayEUG-86 Link for sanctions in general https://www.gesetze-bayern.de/Content/Document/BayEUG-88 Link for respective procedures
This policy will be reviewed annually and:
- Following any serious incident involving alcohol or drugs and substances
- Following the issue of any new guidance from the Bavarian school authorities
The review will be carried out by the Director or designated member of the SLT, who will also evaluate the effectiveness of education on these matters in the School.