North Valley drug testing proposal fails

Jim Dolan reports from Demarest.
January 27, 2014 8:28:30 PM PST
Parents united Monday night in a borough in New Jersey to protest a school district's attempt to have random drug tests on students.

Drug use on campus is epidemic, according to some school officials.

The crowd erupted in applause when the measure for random drug testing narrowly failed in the Northern Valley Regional Schools Monday night.

The crowd was overwhelmingly opposed. There were parents who didn't want their children raised in a place where children were afraid of their own schools.

And there were students, many of whom wondered if the school board had done its best in other areas to reduce drug use.

"I don't understand how we can say that we're doing all we can when you've spent less than one percent of a student's time on drugs," a student said.

The proposal would have instituted random drug testing of Northern Valley High School students. Failure of a test would require counseling and a year with no extracurriculars.

At this meeting, there was education happening. Not all of it came from the adults.

"In the last five minutes, I've found a wikihow page on how to beat a urine drug test, and there are 10 easy steps," another student said.

Some board members insisted there is an unprecedented epidemic of drugs, even heroin and oxycontin use among students, and that random drug testing genuinely gives students a reason to resist peer pressure and to not use drugs.

In the end, more felt the plan was punitive and poorly thought out.