Modern Welding School believes that it is very important to provide a safe environment for all of its students and staff. Substance abuse, while at work, school or otherwise, seriously endangers the safety of students and staff, as well as the general public, and creates a variety of problems including increased theft, decreased morale, decreased productivity, and a decline in the quality of services provided. It is also our Policy to prevent the use and/or presence of these substances in the school. MWS will strive to provide an environment conducive to making conscientious and healthy decisions when students are faced with difficult choices associated with the use of legal and illegal drugs.
It is a violation of school policy for any student to:
- Use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs;
- Misuse alcohol;
- Possess, trade, manufacture, distribute, dispense, buy or offer for sale alcohol, illegal and/or prescription drugs while on duty, during break periods, or on school property;
- Arrive or return to school intoxicated from use of illegal drugs, misused prescription drugs or alcohol;
- Engage in the use of illegal drugs, misuse of prescription drugs or alcohol during school hours or while on school property (including parking lots);
- Use prescription drugs or non-prescription drugs that may affect the safety of the student or fellow students, and members of the public;
- Have tampered or attempted to alter or attempt to interfere with the testing procedure; or
- Otherwise has refused to be tested.
For the purpose of this Policy, a student is presumed to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol if a urine test, blood test or other scientifically acceptable testing procedures shows a forensically acceptable positive quantum of proof of drugs and/or alcohol usage.
Any student who is taking any prescription or non-prescription drug which might impair safety, performance, or any motor functions must advise his/her Instructor or the Director of Education before providing services under such medication.
Students are individually responsible for being aware of applicable laws, regulations, ordinances, and MWS’s policy for complying with them. MWS will assist in that endeavor by providing current information on an ongoing basis to all students.
Drug & Alcohol Testing Reasonable Suspicion Testing:
Reasonable suspicion testing will occur when an Instructor or the Director of Education has reason to suspect that a student may be in violation of this Policy. The suspicion must be documented in writing within 24 hours of the event or prior to the release of the test findings. Reasonable suspicion testing may be based upon, among other things:
- Observed behavior, such as direct observation of drug/alcohol use or possession and/or the physical symptoms of drug and/or alcohol use;
- A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior;
- Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense, or the identification of a student as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking. The student is responsible for notification of Modern Welding School within five (5) business days of any drug-related conviction;
- Information provided either by reliable and credible sources or independently corroborated regarding a student’s substance use; or
- Newly discovered evidence that the student has tampered with a previous drug or alcohol test.
Reasonable suspicion testing does not require certainty, but mere “hunches” are not sufficient to justify testing. Testing may be for drugs or alcohol or both.
To ensure that illegal drugs and alcohol do not enter or affect the school, MWS reserves the right to search all vehicles, containers, lockers, or other items on school property in furtherance of this Policy. Individuals may be requested to display personal property for visual inspection upon MWS’s request. Searches will be conducted only where MWS has reason to believe that the student has violated the school’s Policy. Failure to consent to a search or display of personal property for visual inspection will be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination from the program or denial of access to school premises. Searches of a student’s personal property will take place only in the student’s presence. All searches under this Policy will occur with the utmost discretion and consideration for the student involved. Individuals may be required to empty their pockets, but under no circumstances will a student be required to remove articles of clothing to be physically searched.
Modern Welding School holds all students accountable in terms of substance use but also supports getting help for students. Students who come forward voluntarily to identify that they have a substance problem will not be reprimanded. It is important for the student to come to an understanding regarding the extent of the problem in order to correct the problem and be able to avoid future usage in violation of MWS’s Policy. This is required in order to correct the problem and be able to avoid violating MWS’s Policy in the future. If the student is willing to actively engage in resolving the substance use problem, MWS will refer the student to a Substance Abuse Professional for an assessment and possible outpatient counseling at the student’s expense. This leave will be conditioned upon receipt of reports from the treatment providers that the student is cooperating and making reasonable progress in the treatment program. The student will be permitted to return to school only if (s)he passes a drug /alcohol test and has satisfactory medical evidence that (s)he is fit for attendance.
This protection does not cover a student who confesses a problem after an incident or accident that requires a substance use test, or after being notified that a reasonable suspicion test is required.
Specimen Collection, Testing, and Results:
Testing shall be conducted by a trained collection person, who meets quality assurance and chain-of-custody requirements. A student who tests positive will be given an opportunity to explain the findings to the testing professional reviewing the test results. If it is proven the substances are medically necessary to the standards of the testing professional, the test result will be negative. A failure on the part of the student to provide such evidence will result in the issuance of a positive report.
All records of drug/alcohol testing will be stored separately and apart from the student’s general files. These records shall be maintained under lock and key at all times. Access is limited to designated officials. Those designated officials that shall have access to these records are charged with the responsibility of maintaining the confidentiality of these records.
Violation of this Policy will result in the student’s immediate termination. Re-admittance may be considered after 60 days. To be considered for re-admittance, the student must provide proof of having satisfactorily attended treatment that is provided by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) and/or prescribed by a SAP and completed a drug and/or alcohol test, determined by which test was previously positive, with a negative test result. If the student is re-admitted, (s)he must complete the prescribed follow-up testing by the SAP or by law, as applicable, to continue attending MWS. Treatment and follow-up testing will be at the expense of the student. MWS may terminate a student who has entered a rehabilitation program for violations of the Drug Free School Policy or any other school policy in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Student Catalog.
All information, interviews, reports, statement memoranda and drug test results, written or otherwise, received by Modern Welding School as part of this drug testing program are confidential communications. Unless authorized by state laws, rules or regulations, MWS will not release such information without a written consent form signed voluntarily by the person tested. Information on drug testing results will not be released unless such information or records are compelled by a court or a professional or occupational licensing board.
MWS will review the drug and alcohol prevention program every two years. Any recommendations/data and or assistance available to substance abusers will be updated and distributed to all students and staff of MWS.
Notice of Federal Student Aid (FSA) Penalties for Drug Law Violations:
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires institutions to provide to every student upon enrollment a separate, clear and conspicuous written notice with information on the penalties associated with drug-related offenses under existing section 484(r) of the HEA. It also requires an institution to provide a timely notice to each student who has lost eligibility for any grant, loan, or work-study assistance as a result of penalties under 484(r)(1) of the HEA a separate clear, and conspicuous written notice that notifies the student of the loss of eligibility and advises the student of the ways in which to regain eligibility under section 484(r)(2) of the HEA. Students are hereby notified that federal guidelines mandate that a federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when he/she was a juvenile, unless the student was tried as an adult.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to complete the “Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet” to find out how this law applies to you.
If you have lost federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility if you pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.
By completing the FAFSA, you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from states and private institutions even if ineligible for Federal Aid. If you regain eligibility during the award year, notify your financial aid administrator immediately. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you may be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility.
Modern Welding School reserves the right to alter or amend any portion of this policy at any time without prior notice. MWS reserves the right to alter or modify this policy in a given situation depending on the totality of the circumstances. Time periods stated herein for the performance of any act or provision of any notice by MWS are for guidance only and failure of MWS to strictly meet any time frame provided herein shall not preclude MWS from taking any action provided herein. Under no circumstances shall failure to perform any act within the time frames herein excuse or relieve any student from his or her obligations, act to nullify any positive test, or relieve any student from the consequences of any positive test, or any other violation of this Policy.