Health Education Board Policies
Sachem Board of Education Policy Page
The Board of Education believes that health is a unified concept and that it must be approached with consideration of the total human being and the complexity of forces that affect health behavior. The Board is concerned with the health attitudes and behavior of the individual, the family and the community, and with health behavior, generally.
The Board also believes that the only effective way in which the district can fulfill its responsibility for meeting the health needs of youth is through a comprehensive program of health education in grades K-12. Such a program will establish the organizational framework for meeting the health needs, interests, and problems of students as well as preparing them for their role as adults. The district will comply with the laws and regulations which require health education instruction in the schools.
The district's health education curriculum is designed to accomplish three basic aims:
1. to develop wholesome health skills and practices;
2. to encourage sound attitudes towards good health and wellness; and
3. to acquire up-to-date and scientific health knowledge.
In compliance with the regulations of the Commissioner of Education, the district will provide classroom instruction concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as part of a sequential and comprehensive health program for all students, K-12. Instruction must be offered during regularly scheduled classes. Such instruction will be age-appropriate, and include the following information:
1. the nature of the disease;
2. methods of transmission of the disease; and
3. methods of prevention of the disease (stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS).
A student may be excused from that segment of AIDS instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease if his/her parent/guardian files a request with the Superintendent of Schools. The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home.
TEACHING ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL, TOBACCO
The Board of Education views with grave concern the serious implications of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use by people, specifically young people, all over the United States and especially in the school district. In keeping with its primary responsibility--the education of youth--the Board directs the professional staff of the district to continue to investigate the causes of student involvement with drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and to develop suitable preventive measures however and whenever feasible.
The Board and the professional staff shall continue to seek ways to educate students and school staff of the district about the dangers of the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol and tobacco. Instruction will include sessions about the causes and effects of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, especially in young people. In addition, all high school students will receive instruction on the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
The following objectives must be realized if the goal of minimizing drug, tobacco and alcohol abuse is to be achieved:
1. students shall be encouraged to identify the problem and its causes and to determine solutions;
2. they should understand the nature of legal and illegal drugs and tobacco;
3. they shall be encouraged to develop a set of values and behavioral insights which shall give them a deeper understanding of themselves and society;
4. they shall be encouraged to identify the variety of alternate forms of behavior, other than drug or alcohol abuse and tobacco use, which are available to satisfy their needs; and
5. they shall be encouraged to make constructive decisions concerning the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
While the Board in no way condones the abuse of illegal or harmful substances, it is in the interest of student and staff health that a climate be created in the schools so that individuals with problems may seek to receive help without fear of reprisal.
TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
The Sachem Central School District recognizes its responsibility to promote the health, welfare and safety of students, staff and others on school property and at school-sponsored activities. In light of scientific evidence that the use of tobacco is hazardous to one’s health and to be consistent with school curriculum and federal and state law, it is the intent of the Sachem Central School District to establish a tobacco-free environment.
Tobacco means any cigarette, cigar, pipe, bidi, clove cigarette, and any other smoking product; as well as spit tobacco, also known as smokeless, dip, chew, and snuff, and any other spit tobacco product in any form.
School Property means any building, structure or vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by the Sachem Central School District.
School Grounds means property surrounding buildings and structures, athletic grounds, parking lots, or any other outdoor property owned, leased, or contracted by the Sachem Central School District.
No person is permitted to use tobacco in any way at any time, including non-school hours, on school property or grounds. Tobacco use is prohibited by students and staff at any school-sponsored event or activity off campus.
Instruction to discourage the misuse of tobacco shall be included in the health education curriculum provided for all elementary school pupils taught by the classroom teacher or by teachers certified to teach health education.
Instruction shall also be an integral part of required health education at the middle and high school levels and taught by teachers certified to teach health education. Related courses in secondary school curriculum shall be taught in a manner supportive of health education regarding tobacco. Staff responsible for teaching tobacco-use prevention shall have adequate training and participate in ongoing professional development activities to effectively deliver the education program as planned.
Distribution or sale of tobacco, including any smoking device is prohibited on school property, grounds and any school-sponsored event.
Tobacco advertising is prohibited on school property, grounds, and any school-sponsored event.
Referrals and access to community resources and programs to help students and staff overcome tobacco addiction shall be provided to staff and students.
Signs communicating this policy shall be prominently posted and properly maintained where tobacco use and smoking are regulated by this policy. Signs shall include the International “No Smoking” symbol, which consists of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a circle with a bar across it.
Enforcement of this policy shall be equitable and consistent in accordance with the Tobacco-Free School Policy enforcement procedures, student code of conduct, and employee personnel policies.
Student violation of this policy will lead to disciplinary action up to and including suspension from school. Student participation in a tobacco-cessation program and/or tobacco education class may be allowed as an alternative to discipline. Parents will be notified of violations involving their child and subsequent action taken by the school.
Employee violations of this policy will lead to disciplinary action in accordance with personnel policies.
The Superintendent will develop administrative regulations as necessary to implement this policy, including provisions for notification of the school’s policy; disciplinary consequences; and procedures for filing and handling complaints about violations of the school’s policy.