Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The following is the Institutional Drug and Alcohol Policy in effect at WITS. WITS is committed to maintaining a drug-free campus for the benefit and protection of students, faculty and staff. All policies listed below will be strictly enforced.
Standards of conduct regarding drug and alcohol use
WITS will not tolerate any unlawful use, possession or distribution of illicit drugs on WITS property or as part of any WITS-sponsored activities.
In addition, any student misusing drugs or alcohol off-campus will be subject to the same reprimands and disciplinary sanctions listed for violation on-campus (see below), up to and including suspension and expulsion.
Responsible use of alcohol on or off premises by students over 21 while not encouraged, will be allowed under the following circumstances:
as part of ritual services and celebrations the student makes no attempt to use a motor vehicle
Legal sanctions: local, state and federal
Local, state and federal laws are constantly changing. Every effort is made to distribute current information. Note that the trend in legislation, law enforcement and the courts is toward harsher penalties, larger fines and longer periods of incarceration. Any conviction may result in a permanent criminal record.
Being in the company of others who are using illegal drugs, even if not participating, may result in arrest.
Federal penalties are severe for illegal drug trafficking with minimum sentences for many categories. State of Maryland Statutes provide penalties for a person found to have acted as an organizer, supervisor, manager or financier of a scheme distributing illegal drugs, and provide that such conduct is a first-degree crime punishable by imprisonment and fines. Local ordinances may range from fines for driving with an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the car, regardless of whether the driver has consumed any alcohol, to more severe penalties.
Studies have now proven that all illegal (and many prescription) drugs are, to some extent, physically and/or psychologically addictive. There are no safe drugs. Many drugs are potentially addictive after only one dose. Many drugs can kill with just the smallest amount of overdose.
There is no drug experience that is worth risking health of self or future generations.
Marijuana, once considered relatively harmless, has been shown to affect memory and intelligence, most seriously among young people who are at a crucial stage of development. Marijuana may also act as a "gateway" to more dangerous drugs. In the past, marijuana was often of very weak quality. Potency has increased over the years, and many samples have been found to be adulterated with dangerous hallucinogens and other substances.
Available Drug Counseling & Treatment
WITS is committed to helping students deal with life’s problems in a mature, sensible manner focusing on prevention rather than treatment. Specialists are available on a constant basis. In addition, all faculty members have been trained to be sensitive to the physical and emotional
well-being of the students and to assist as appropriate.
If assistance is needed, references will be provided for counseling. If a problem is discovered, professional intervention will be required before permission is granted to return to campus.
For counseling and treatment, students are referred to CounterForce, the counseling and drug abuse prevention and treatment division of the Torah Umesorah National Association of Hebrew Day Schools.
Disciplinary sanctions that the institution will impose on students and employees
As an institution, which is firmly opposed to any drug involvement, WITS will deal severely with any student who misuses controlled substances. The following guidelines serve as warning before sanctions are imposed.
Knowledge that another student or employee is involved with drugs or alcohol
Students or employees who become aware of a fellow student or employee who is misusing drugs or alcohol, are expected to bring the problem to the attention of the Menaheles immediately. A student or employee who fails to do so will be held responsible and will be censured.
Any problem can be resolved more easily the earlier it is caught. Neglect of a problem can be a severe danger to the person involved, as well as those around him.
First offense – students
A student who is reported to have misused drugs or alcohol will be called to the Office of the Menaheles. The Menaheles will interview any witnesses and make a determination of the student’s culpability.
If the student is found at fault, she will receive a reprimand and the offense will be noted in her permanent record.
At the discretion of the Menaheles, the student will be suspended, pending discussion with the student’s parents and meeting with a health professional to assess the degree of the problem.
If the Menaheles is fully satisfied that this was a unique occurrence and that the student is sincerely regretful and can be trusted to refrain from any future involvement with drugs, the student will be allowed to return to campus. The student will be clearly warned that any repeat of the offense will result in immediate suspension pending investigation and ultimately expulsion.
Second offense - students
Any student who is guilty of a second offense as determined by investigation by a faculty board of inquiry will immediately be expelled from the institution.
Reinstatement may be considered only after a prolonged period of professional counseling and compliance testing and at the discretion of the Menaheles.
There is no due process involved, and no appeal will be accepted. Attendance at WITS is a privilege, not a right, and may be withdrawn without notice if the student is deemed a threat to the moral and/or physical integrity of the student body.
First offense – employees
In general, no applicant who has been convicted of a drug-related offense will be hired as an employee of this institution, although extenuating circumstances may be considered.
Any employee who has concealed a past drug-related conviction will be terminated without notice if such offense is discovered. Any employee who is observed to be misusing drugs/engaging in the unlawful possession or sale of drugs will immediately be terminated and referred to appropriate law enforcement officials.
Addiction to prescription drugs/alcohol
WITS is sympathetic to any individual who inadvertently becomes addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol and urges immediate professional and/or self-help group assistance.
The administration will make every effort to allow the employee to arrange his/her schedule to facilitate seeking professional assistance and will make every possible effort to allow an employee to return to work after seeking treatment for treatment at a residential clinic.
Responsible use of alcohol
Under no circumstances is a student who has consumed any alcohol beverage, in any quantity, to drive any motor vehicle. A student’s friends are expected to exercise good judgment and seek the assistance of an adult if they are unable to dissuade a student from driving.
Preferably, a student who is drinking should relinquish her car keys to a designated driver.
Any student who drinks in violation of the rules will be held responsible, and censured severely, up to and including a meeting with the student’s parents, and/or suspension.