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GLAD YOU ASKED: What are school punishments for drugs?

Q: Recently, the school district had a drug dog enter the high school and found a student had drugs at the school. What does the school policy manual say about disciplining someone who brings drugs on school property? What types of discipline can be used? 

A: The following is an email response from Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves, who did not address any specific case but addressed the topic generally.

“While some offenses carry with them expected or even mandatory consequences (an example of this would be those under ‘zero tolerance’ laws such as firearms violations which carry a one-year minimum expulsion), there are no such rules for most matters. Thus, depending upon the circumstances, a drug offense would typically carry a penalty not less than a 10-day out of school suspension and not more than a one-year expulsion.  What determines the variance in the consequences? Any number of things. If the incident suggested that the student was guilty of distributing illegal substances for example, it would likely lead to a one-year expulsion.  Other considerations would include the student’s past disciplinary record, charges brought by law enforcement, cooperation with school and police authorities, etc. Disciplinary consequences can and very likely will include suspension from extracurricular activities and some such are required under South Dakota Codified Law.”

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