Student speaks out against random drug testing at Susquenita

Drug Testing Dilemma in Susquenita School District

A Perry County student spoke out against the Susquenita School District’s random drug testing policy at the school board meeting Tuesday night.

Natalie Cassell is going into the 6th grade at Susquenita Middle School, and she says the policy is unfair. It requires random drug testing for students who participate in afterschool activities and who drive to school.

She was drug tested three times last year at age 10, because she belongs to a leadership club.

“Instead of saying, ‘hey these activities are fun, you should do them, we need people to join,’ it’s just making people not want to do them,” she says.

Parents also spoke out against the policy at the meeting, saying middle school is too young for random drug testing.

Superintendent Kent Smith defended the policy, saying drug use is “prevalent” in Perry County and it increases during the middle school years.

The school board will ask the administration to revise the policy and more discussion will take place at the September 9th school board meeting.

But the school board shot down a motion to suspend the policy until it’s rewritten.

8 comments

  • Lindsi

    I am sorry, I know children are young, but I agree 100% for the testing. This day and age kids can get a hold of any drugs. My kids go to this school and I have no issue. Me as a parent I would want to know if my child was doing drugs!

  • JaSauders

    @ Lindsi – I don't disagree with you, but what the student had to say was 100% spot on.

    Hey! Hey you over there! Join this extra curricular activity! Oh by the way pee in this cup 6 times.

    When my daughter is old enough to be in this position, there are a couple key things that make this situation easier to tolerate. 1) Call me. You have no right to do anything, *anything*, until I am both notified and present. Period. 2) Don't be obnoxious about it. Testing someone 5 times in a year? Come on. If the district did not follow through with both points, I would only hope my daughter would do what I say and stand up 100% firm against it until both points are met. I work in public education. There are bigger things to worry about and better ways to spend your time than testing an 11 year old that many times in a year. It's ridiculous. There is no excuse for that.

    • Joe

      You do realize that kids that young are dealing drugs. If you work in public education you ought to know that. If your child is clean at least you'll have proof.

  • mike

    Stop just stop the problem is not the kids ,we all no what the problem is education lets stop spending money on drug test and spend our money for education and sports for these kids remember they are just that ( KIDS ) how about drug test the educators ,judges ,police etc m wheeler

    • Joe

      You might cease kidding yourself. We already spend outrageous amounts on union failed education that overlooks the problem. That problem begins with parents too preoccupied with themselves and their own instant gratification to set an example for their spawn.

  • Brandy

    If children in this age group are using drugs surely they aren’t members of the honor society and I would hope our education system could notice signs of a 10 year old on drugs. Why waste money on testing a child 5 times in a year if the first test was negative? I am sure the only drugs showing up in any of these kids in this age group would be the amphetamines they are prescribed for ADHD after the teachers request them to be seen by a physician for misbehaving in class.

  • Marie

    If they want to do drug testing then several things need to happen. 1. Random testing of ALL children. Not just the ones in activities. 2. Parent or Guardian MUST be present.
    3. If test is positive then the entire household should be tested and if positive should be investigated.

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