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San Francisco USD |  BP  5140.2  Students

Use Of Tobacco, Alcohol, Other Drugs   

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Philosophy and Policy Statement

Recognizing that the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs

* Adversely affects the health and academic achievement of students and

* Is a major cause of accidents, preventable, and chronic pulmonary disease for all age groups; and

Recognizing that exposure to second hand smoke (passive smoking)

* Is a contributing factor in the leading causes of avoidable fatal illnesses such as heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and chronic pulmonary disease for all age groups, and

* Is related to increased respiratory illness, middle ear disease, chronic respiratory symptoms, asthma, and lung function impairment during childhood,

The Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District adopts the following policy:

By October 15, 1993, the San Francisco Unified School District will establish and maintain a school environment that:

1. Prohibits use of alcohol and illegal drugs by students and staff on school grounds or at school events; and

2. Provides programs that reduce the use of all harmful substances among students and staff.

By June 30, 1994, the San Francisco Unified School District will establish and maintain a school environment that:

3. Prohibits smoking and the use of all tobacco products in all District owned buildings, ground and vehicles, at all times by all persons including all employees, students, and visitors at any school site or while attending any school-sponsored activities, meetings, athletic events;

4. As recommended by the California Department of Education (CDE) in 2014, the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District prohibits the use of products containing tobacco and/or nicotine, including, but not limited to, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, clove cigarettes, and electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes, any time, in charter school or school district-owned or leased buildings, on school or district property, and in school district vehicles. However, this section does not prohibit the use or possession of prescription products, or other cessation aids such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum. Student use or possession of such products must conform to laws governing student use and possession of medications on school property. Other vapor emitting electronic devices, such as electronic hookah, with or without nicotine content, that mimic the use of tobacco products, are also prohibited.

To this end, the District shall implement a comprehensive substance use prevention program that includes policies about instruction, identification, referral, intervention, cessation programs, recovering student and staff support, and enforcement / discipline. The components of this program shall be clearly communicated to students, parents, guardians, caretakers, and staff.

Recognizing that the community shares the concern of maintaining a substance free school environment, the District acknowledges and encourages support and cooperation from parents, guardians, caretakers, law enforcement and community based organizations involved in substance use prevention and interventions.

To establish and review these programs and policies, the District shall utilize the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Education Advisory Committee comprised of members representing school staff, parents/guardians, law enforcement, and community-based agencies to make recommendations related to substance use prevention and intervention.


The District shall provide a comprehensive health education program with sequential and culturally appropriate lessons facilitating mastery of age appropriate concepts and skills that enable students to adopt and maintain health promoting behaviors. Substance use prevention education shall be included in all levels of K-12 education. Substance use prevention education shall focus on reducing factors that have been shown to put students at risk for substance use (risk factors include negative aspects of involvement with community, family, school, and individual and peer groups) and enhancing protective factors (e.g., self-esteem building, effectiveness in work and play, healthy expectations, self-discipline, problem solving and critical thinking skills, and humor).

Instruction shall consist of information about physiological and psychological, effects of substance use, social and legal consequences of substance use, and internal and external influences on substance use based on current scientific research findings and theories. Additionally, skills building activities will focus on enhancing self-esteem and increasing decision-making, communication (including assertiveness and refusal skills), stress management and goal setting skills. It is the intent of the San Francisco Board of Education that the combination of current, accurate, and developmentally-appropriate information combined with personal and social skills development will enable students to resist involvement with tobacco, alcohol and other illegal drugs. It is the policy of the District that a "no use" message be clearly and consistently reinforces throughout the instructional process.

Staff responsible for implementing the instructional program shall be trained in the use of substance use prevention curriculum materials and current background information on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the instructional program, the Board will support other programs targeted at substance use prevention. These programs may include but are not limited to: parent education and involvement, positive alternatives activities for students, community awareness programs adult mentor programs, and peer education programs, including cross-age teaching.


The Board recognizes that there are individuals on campuses who use tobacco, alcohol, and other illegal substances who may benefit from intervention strategies. The Board supports intervention programs that include involvement of students, peers, school district staff, parents/guardians and siblings, caretakers, and community agencies. School district personnel shall be trained to recognize and identify behavioral indicators of substance use. The responsibilities and expectations of staff reporting students suspected of substance use shall be clearly defined in administrative regulations (as delineated in the SFUSD Student Handbook).

School district administrative regulations shall identify the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement officers as reflected in procedures which the district and law enforcement agencies have established for substance use prevention and intervention programs. In addition to participating in the S.F.U.S.D. substance use prevention policy adoption process, law enforcement staff shall receive copies of all Board policies, regulations, procedures and rules related to substance use prevention programs.

On a yearly basis, the District shall provide students, parents/guardians and caretakers, and staff, access to information about indicators of substance use as well as community based agencies with intervention programs and services that are culturally appropriate and language specific.

Nonpunitive Self-Referral and Self-Disclosure

The Board strongly encourages any student who is using tobacco, alcohol, and other illegal drugs to discuss his / her use with a parent/guardian, school staff, (including counselors, school district nurses (SDN) and social workers (SSW), mental health professional, or community agency representative. If the student is not comfortable to discuss his / her use, she/he may designate a friend to disclose on his or her behalf. Students who disclose in this manner to seek help from an intervention or recovery program shall not be punished or disciplined for past use. A student who self-refers or self discloses shall have a clear record from that point.

Any existing referrals relative to the initiation of intervention and recovery programs shall be removed from student files at their request. Subsequent infractions shall result in appropriate action.

Recovering Student Support

The Board recognizes the presence of students/employees in recovery programs and the necessity to support these students to prevent reinvolvement with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. To this end, the Board will support and provide school sponsored activities which are positive alternatives to substance use and, where ever possible, will provide support services to enhance recovery.


The Board will support District staff who shall take appropriate action to eliminate possession, use or sale of tobacco, alcohol or other illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia including vapor emitting electronic devices on school grounds, at school events, or in any situation where the school is responsible for the conduct and safety of students. Students possessing, using or selling tobacco, alcohol or other drugs or related paraphernalia shall be referred for interventions according to district protocol.

The Board will insure that related laws, policies and regulations are uniformly and consistently applied and that coordination and cooperation with local law enforcement is ongoing. School authorities may search students and school property for substances so long as such searches are conducted in accordance with law, Board policy and administrative directives.


adopted: May 13, 2014 San Francisco, California