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Community Input Sought on Random Drug-Testing Policy

Forum slated for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Middle School North.

Residents are invited to provide input on a possible at during a community forum Oct. 5.

The forum is slated at 7 p.m. in the Cafetorium. A follow-up survey will go out to parents after the forum.

The debate about implementing a drug-testing policy at has been taking place for about three years. Legally, only students involved in sports and extracurricular activities, along with those who have parking privileges, are eligible to be randomly drug tested.

The policy, drafted by high school and district administration, has been discussed and revised a number of times. Most recent changes to the policy included:

  • The selection process for each random test will be run by the Student Assistance Program coordinator and athletic director. The policy previously stated it would just be witnessed.
  • Students are encouraged to notify the Student Assistance Program coordinator that he or she is taking a prescription medication as it may cause a positive result. The policy previously stated it would be the student’s choice to notify the administrator.
  • Drug-testing records are considered temporary and will be kept with the Student Assistance Program coordinator. This was added to the confidentiality portion of the policy and procedures.

Information about the drug-testing procedures, code of conduct, and parking application and consequences can be found on the district website.

Keith Petropoulos October 05, 2011 at 03:18 AM
I have numerous children in their schools and was proud of the level of education until I took a close look at this. A program that severely punishes kids without reasonable suspicion would thinkable if there were severe safety issues at the school. With LZ Police Chief Finlon reporting only three 2010 underage alcohol arrests and 13 non-descript reports at the high school there is not a severe safety problem. With the school district suppressing debate and discussion there must be some secret reason for this program.
Nancy Glasser October 05, 2011 at 04:43 PM
I'm concerned about the misinformation and propaganda that is being spread primarily by those opposed to this PROPOSED, random drug testing: 1) Instituting it would psychologically scar our children with adult mistrust. Please, even your kids are laughing at that reason. Random drug testing is an acceptable part of American workplace culture. Teens are reasonable and will understand that testing is RANDOM, not does not constitute a personal attack. 2) It might be humiliating to be pulled out of class. Where is the embarrassment when each LZHS student is eligible and could be randomly tested at any time? 3) Drug Testing constitutes a "severe punishment." Urinating in a container in a private, sanitary bathroom is not a punishment, nor is it severe. 4) CUSD95 is suppressing debate. Emails and an information-gathering survey went out, and now a community forum is scheduled. The school district has certainly done its due diligence in soliciting community awareness and participation. My concern is that drug testing may be completely unnecessary and therefore a waste of taxpayer dollars, but that is not the theme of the impassioned emails I've been getting. I don't know if we have a drug problem in LZHS; why don't we implement random drug testing and find out?
Marie October 05, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Have I missed the statistics that state there is a rampant drug problem at the high school? Where is the police statement concering the big arrests or drug busts? I have the feeling this is all very much overkill.
Marie October 05, 2011 at 06:17 PM
And as a follow up, why is this testing only of students in extra curricular activites? Are our "drug addicts"only involved in outside school events like orchestra, marching band, scholastic bowl and drama??
voiceofreason October 06, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Our society generally treats the decade between the ages of 14-24 as a period when it is OK to make mistakes on occasion. I am concerned for the many students who make a couple bad decisions here and there. During this decade of life, the brain won't allow us to see past next week. Kids may feel that their life is over if they must endure the harsh months of punishment from this plan.
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way October 06, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Concerned, your points are valid, HOWEVER it boils down to the fact that the school district cannot bubble wrap every child and protect them from the Boogie Man at all costs. There comes a point where they are over reaching their responsibility. This is one of those times. Next, they will want to measure students’ feet and compare them to their shoe size to ensure that parents are buying the proper size. A simplistic example I agree, but I am trying to make a point. Provide my students with an education, period.
Daniel Lesus October 06, 2011 at 04:03 PM
We as a community ALL agree that there is no place for drugs and alcohol in and around our school children. The current policy can only test a portion of the population by law. Just because the law allows testing of elected activities, does that make it right? Using a grey area or loop hole that says you can't test everybody but you can test kids who choose to participate in extra-curricular activities smells rotten. If our goals are to help ALL children, this policy is clearly NOT the answer. Why can't Lake Zurich lead and be an example of policies that work for EVERYBODY. The only way this can be done is to scap the current policy and begin work on a solution in which the community, in whole, is involved using an open forum that asks the important questions and strives to find answers that work for ALL.
Dottie Lesus October 06, 2011 at 04:20 PM
Concerned, that is just the point! Not all students are eligible for this program. It is only kids in extra curricular activities and kids that have parking passes. The school district sent a survey out to only a select few not the entire district. Why is a community forum set up only one month before this goes to vote. Many in the community still do not even know about this issue because everyone did not receive the email and it was not listed in the paper. Hey but we sure as heck know when there is a snow day in our community. Why not do an automated message for this issue. It is clear they wanted a path of little resistance.
:) Go Lucky October 06, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Can anyone tell me where the money to fund this program is coming from -- I've heard it's being pulled from the special edcuation department???? If true -- unbelieveable! and v. wrong! the special ed program needs all the help and support they can get!
Eva October 06, 2011 at 06:25 PM
instead of profiling the kids that are trying to be active and participate in school functions, let's concentrate on the real problem of kids that come and sit in the classromm high and do drugs in the very bathroom of the high school. Maybe we don't waste money on random drug testing the wrong group and put it towards educating teachers on how to handle the kids sitting in their class high. Go after the real problem - kids that have severe drug issues are NOT looking to participate in after school activities! If you are so concerned about drug issues than look at the real issues. Bottom line it is the parents responsibility - I send my child to school to get an education - not to be policed or babysat or teach them good morals - that is my job as a parent. So where does it end - will the school check everyone on who is having sex and pass out birth control? It's for their own good right? to protect them right? Wrong - parents take responsibiity! What good is drug testing going to do if the school takes away priveldges and the parents don't do anything about it at home. You have now wasted time and money. Put it to something that will make a big difference.
Anon October 06, 2011 at 08:47 PM
The bottom line on this: it's not the schools' responsibility. If parents want to drug test their own kids there are inexpensive tests available. This is overreaching by the school district. The ONLY way this would be a reasonable policy would be if parents could opt-out of the testing.
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way October 06, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Seems like the district will continue to send out surveys and hold "forums" until they get the response they are looking for in order to justify continuing down this slope. They need to recognize that the majority of parents and tax payers are NOT in favor (for myriad reasons) of this PROPOSED, random drug testing and should now take their ball and go home.
voiceofreason October 11, 2011 at 03:01 PM
I am proud of the parents with the courage to attend the forum. I don't know how the school board could possibly continue pushing for this program after the clear message sent that night! Let's keep it up until this ridiculous proposal disappears.
k October 11, 2011 at 04:30 PM
I totally agree. Great turnout, great speakers and great questions. Unfortunately the answers and responses were weak. Regardless, the topic of substance abuse is being talked about and that is a very good thing! Now if the Board would drop the issue of testing (their initial survey was skewed as many respondents did not know all students are eligible for testing) and build on this momentum. Draw on the activity and interest in the community and mold it into action. Incorporate the Ela Coalition for Youth Substance Abuse and good things will happen.

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