Alternatives to Zero Tolerance

In accordance with the resolve of the Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance resolution passed at the 2003 California State PTA Convention, we are providing you with some ideas that you might find useful in establishing alternatives to zero tolerance at your schools. Some of these programs are already in existence at school districts; others are available through community and private organizations that serve schools.

School District Programs

Project Success, through the Irvine Unified School District Family Resource Center, is located on the campus of SELF Alternative High School in Irvine, CA. Services include individual and group counseling. Horizons Career Counseling and Education Program, Coastline ROP, Violence Prevention Class, Alternative to Suspension for students suspended for drug and alcohol use (district wide program), Alternative to Suspension program for SELF students suspended for confrontational behavior, Smoking Cessation Awareness Alternative to Suspension Program, anger management group for all students on probation and Family Focus parent group run by Community Service Program, Inc.
Pat McKenzie, Project Success Coordinator
(949) 936-7480
IUSD Guidance Resources
5050 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604

Youth Connect is a comprehensive program designed to help students at risk for suspension and expulsion and students who have been suspended or expelled in the rural Jurupa Unified School District middle schools. The program is built on the research-based framework of the Youth Development Model for Resilience developed by WestEd's School and Community Health Research Group. The program has five components: a student assistance program including comprehensive case management; outreach service advocacy for students and their parents; alternative learning centers at each middle school; a family strengthening program; and a school/law enforcement and community partnership.
Director: Cynthia D. Peck
Assistant Director: Cecilia Lierenas-Mutia
Contact: Cecilia Mutia
(909) 782-2832

Student Assistance Program (SAP) Moreno Valley Unified School District
"According to Board Policy 5131.6 (b) and Administrative Regulation 5131.6 (a), the district shall establish a Student Assistance Program to provide education, assistance and support for students affected by their own and others' alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems. When any student possesses alcohol, tobacco or other illegal drugs at school or while under school jurisdiction, participation in the Student Assistance Program including the insight class is required. Students who fail to successfully complete this program can be referred to their principal and Student Assistance Team for further disciplinary action and intervention, i.e., possible recommendation for further suspension or alternative program placement." Winner of the 2000 American School Counselor Association National Standards award.
Trish Hatch, coordinator, Student Services
Moreno Valley Unified School District
13911 Perris Blvd.
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
(909) 485-5600, ext. 2319

Student Assistance Program (SAP) San Juan Unified School District Office of Student Assistance and Prevention Programs (OSAPP)
"The San Juan unified School District's comprehensive Student Assistance Program (SAP) provides a systematic process to identify, refer, educate and support students who exhibit behaviors that interfere with the learning process. Students are identified for participation in SAP through referrals from staff, parents, students or community members. Self-referrals are accepted as well as internet referrals. Students are provided referrals to district and community resourc4s and may be invited to participate in support groups to enhance skill development. The program includes support groups which address topics such as anger management, conflict resolution, alcohol and drug awareness, recovery, concerned others, tobacco cessation, life skills and stress management."
Maggie Wade, SAP Supervisor
(916) 971-7022
Central OSAPP
7200 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite 101
Carmichael, CA 95608

Community Programs

The Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse sponsors Youth Service Specialists (YSS), a group of individuals specifically trained and implemented as part of the Santa Barbara county school system work at junior high and high schools from Carpinteria to Goleta, providing a continuum of alcohol and other drug related services. These services include: education, public awareness, prevention early identification, and referral services. The Youth Service Specialist program has proven to be highly effective in working with at-risk youth. Students see the Youth Service Specialists as being both safe and supportive, especially in times of crisis. Students are referred by teachers, school counselors, and administrators or ask for help voluntarily.
Matt Shaw, Progarm Coordinator
Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse
232 E. Cannon Perdido Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 730-7575

Sacramento Youth Peer Court
Cases are referred to Peer Court from juvenile probation, school site police officers, the juvenile court, or local police agencies. The juvenile must be a first time offender and must admit guilt to participate. Peer Court determines the punishment for the crime. The juvenile and his/her parents must sign the appropriate consent forms waiving confidentiality.
John Barris, Program Director
Sacramento Youth Peer Court
2239 "A" Chase Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 363-9402

Oak Park Leadership Development Academy (LDA)
LDA is a youth-run community service program in Oak Park, Sacramento County. Youths, aged 12-17, plan and run the program. The members decide on community projects, plan and organize events and trips, design posters and T-shirts, and help lead LDA meetings.
Jim Hughes
(916) 264-4657
Rodney Haymer
(916) 277-6151

Positive Action to School Suspension (PASS)
PASS provides students suspended from middle and high schools in Santa Clara County a safe and supervised environment, engaged in worthwhile academic activities while receiving guidance and emotional support. The program includes transportation, assistance with completing school assignments and individualized tutoring. It is funded under the City of San Jose-HNVF Grant.
Aminah Jahi
Alliance of African American Community Org.
467 North White Road
San Jose, CA 95127
(408) 929-2226

Workshops or speakers available

"Changing the Climate: Substance Abuse and Schools. Zero Tolerance, is it working? What are the alternatives?" This workshop was sponsored by an organization called Project Help, Sacramento Mobilizing Against Substance Abuse and was presented in April 2002. The entire workshop is on a three-hour videotape that can be borrowed from the Third District PTA Office.
The keynote speaker was Carol Burgoa, who is well-versed on the subject. She works as a training and technical assistance consultant with the EMT Group in Folsom and WestEd in Oakland, developing and presenting workshops in youth development/resilience. She also provides technical assistance in violence prevention/school safety, alcohol/drug problems in youth for the CA Alcohol and Drug Programs funded project; and is integrating the principles and practices of youth development in after-school programs.
Contact information:
(415) 577-9286

Safety First, a Reality-Based Approach to Teens, Drugs, and Drug Education
The Safety First Project offers a practical, common sense approach for parents concerned about their children's safety. At, parents can find resources to help them talk with their teen about drugs, including fact sheets, an advice column and a way to order free brochures by mail. The organization actively researches and promotes alternatives to zero tolerance policies.
Phone: (415) 921-4987
2233 Lombard St., San Francisco, CA 94123

The California State PTA does not control and cannot guarantee the relevance, timeliness, or accuracy of the materials provided by other agencies or organizations, nor does the California State PTA endorse other agencies or organizations, their views, products or services