Parental Notification Policy: Alcohol and Other Drugs
The University strives to educate all students on the risks associated with substance abuse and the illegal use of alcohol or other drugs. In furtherance of its effort to engage students and their families regarding these issues, the University has adopted this Parental Notification Policy pertaining to the illegal or harmful use of alcohol or other drugs.
Whenever the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) becomes aware that a University of Virginia student has been arrested for an alcohol- or drug-related violation, and the student is a dependent (for federal tax purposes), ODOS will notify that student’s parent(s). Violations that trigger notifications under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, driving under the influence, public drunkenness, underage possession of alcohol, and unauthorized possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs).
Furthermore, whenever ODOS becomes aware that a University of Virginia student has engaged in a pattern of behavior or a severe incident involving the use of alcohol and/or drugs, and the student is a dependent (for federal tax purposes), ODOS will notify that student’s parent(s). Violations that trigger notifications under this paragraph include, but are not limited to, frequent or severe episodes of drug use, drunkenness, and/or binge drinking.
The University will make notifications under this policy unless the University, family, or other circumstances make such notifications incompatible with the student’s best interests. The University relies on the professional judgment of its faculty and administrators when assessing each student’s situation. Students whose family or other circumstances make notification under this policy inappropriate will be referred immediately to the University’s professional counseling resources.
When making a notification under this policy, time and circumstances permitting, a professional staff member in ODOS ordinarily will encourage the student to make the initial call to his or her parent(s). The staff member then will follow up with a call directly to the student’s parent(s).
A notification under this policy will be in addition to the intervention and education programs already offered to students when such infractions are brought to the University’s attention. Intervention may include one or more of the following: substance abuse assessment by a trained clinician; psychological assessment by a trained clinician; substance abuse counseling; enrollment in educational programs; and/or sanctions imposed for violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct.
A notification under this policy is authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (“FERPA”), which permits the disclosure of information from education records to parents of dependent students. The University reserves the right in its sole discretion to notify parents of alcoholor drug-related incidents falling outside this policy to the extent permitted by FERPA or other applicable law.
Parental Notification Policy: Mental Health
In accordance with Virginia state law, Va. Code §23.1-1303, the University of Virginia will notify a parent of any student who is dependent (for federal tax purposes) and receives mental health treatment at Elson Student Health when there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the student will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to himself or herself or others as evidenced by recent behavior or any other relevant information or (b) suffer serious harm due to his or her lack of capacity to protect himself or herself from harm or to provide for his or her basic human needs.
A treating health professional will inform the University dean of students whenever notification is required in these instances. The University dean of students or his or her designee will then notify the parent.
Parental notification may be withheld if a licensed health professional treating the student determines, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, that notification would be reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the student or another person.