Drug testing in Bucks. Co. schools

August 26, 2008 3:39:08 PM PDT
Students in one Bucks County district could have another test to pass once school starts. Not surprisingly, most of the Central Bucks students we spoke to aren't crazy about the prospect of being randomly selected to submit to a urine test.

But they admitted to understanding why administrators would begin such a program.

"I think it is an issue of concern, but I'm just on the fence about it," Central Bucks West student Dan Seitzinger said.

"It seems like an invasion of privacy, quite frankly, but it's not going to stop kids from doing drugs," Mark Brown, a Central Bucks junior, said.

If the district does begin a random student body drug test program, it wouldn't begin until the 2009-2010 school year.

Anyone who tests positive for drugs would still be allowed to attend class, but they no longer be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities and their on-campus parking privileges would be revoked.

School officials say clearly the goal is to get kids off drugs, but it also gives teenagers who don't do drugs a new weapon to fend off peer pressure.

"They need a good solid alibi as to why they don't want to get involved and if the school district had a random testing program, I think that would give them an out," Dr. Robert Laws, the Central Bucks Schools Superintendent, said.

Some parents Action News spoke to are concerned this kind of policy could lead to "witch hunts."

"Does a teacher have a problem? Does the student have a problem with the kid? I think it's a very difficult issue to just say that you can randomly do it. I think there's probably circumstances that warranted," CB parent Greg Locke said.

Most said they'll take any help offered to keep their kids off drugs.

"They can go right into Doylestown and get anything they want at all. It's insane," CB parent Robin Williams said.

Officials from the district say they will be holding public meetings with students and parents before they make a decision. The district has already applied for federal grants to apply for the equipment needed for the drug tests.

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