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  • NJ A268
  • Establishes a grant program for school districts to establish substance abuse prevention programs for eighth grade students.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill directs the Commission of Education to establish a program to provide grants to school districts to implement a substance abuse prevention program for eighth grade students. The program would include two components, a faculty and parent education component and a student education component. The program would be modeled on "Project Positive Choice," a successful drug and alcohol education prevention program that has been part of the eighth grade curriculum at the Copeland Middle School in Rockaway Township since the fall of 1998. The faculty and parent education component would be designed to raise the awareness levels of school staff and parents; sensitize them to issues surrounding substance abuse; and promote the success of the program by reinforcing their roles as stakeholders in the program's outcomes. This component will include workshops for the faculty and staff of the school district on various issues related to substance abuse and sessions to provide parents with the knowledge and skills needed to help reduce the risk of children developing substance abuse problems. The student education component would consist of a four-phase approach to the problem of substance abuse. In the first phase, the students would meet with teenage residents of drug rehabilitation programs who would discuss their own personal experiences with drug and alcohol abuse and the dangers of such abuse. In the second phase, an individual who has personal family knowledge on the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse on young adults would address the students. This personal address would be accompanied by an appropriate video presentation that educates students on the dangers of substance abuse. The third phase would consist of minimum custody offenders from a State correctional facility having a discussion with students about the crimes committed in which drugs and alcohol played a major role, the amount of time being served in prison, and what life is like while being incarcerated. The goals of the discussion would be to reduce the use of drugs and alcohol by youths and promote responsible decision-making. The final phase would consist of a person or persons with celebrity status, as positive role models, addressing the students to present an anti-drug and alcohol message. A student would not be compelled to participate in the program if his parent or guardian presents the school principal with a signed statement that the program is in conflict with the student's conscience or moral or religious beliefs. In order to participate in the grant program, a school district would be required to submit an application to the commissioner. The school district, as part of the application, must certify that the district's budget includes funds for the purpose of financing a substance abuse prevention program for eighth grade students. The funds may be district funds, funds raised through individual, corporate, or other private sector donations, or federal funds. The commissioner will develop criteria for the evaluation of applications for grants, and based upon the criteria, will provide to each selected school district a grant in such amount as he determines.
Human Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified