EDUCATION
01/12/2011 06:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NJ School District Votes On Middle School Drug Tests (VIDEO)

Many parents worry about their kids doing drugs, but few would go as far as to start random drug tests in the 6th grade.

However, members of the Board of Education in Belvidere, N.J. plan to start doing just that, soon.

The Board votes on a proposal Wednesday night that would plan random drug and alcohol tests for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. The program is optional and requires the consent of both parents and students.

From CBS News:

Elementary School Principal Sandra Szabocsik said school officials want to use the testing "as a deterrent."

"We're hoping that the students if they're at say a party or someone's house or just hanging out somewhere, that they'll say 'I don't want to get involved in drinking or using any drug because tomorrow could be a drug testing day,'" she told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.

While students could chose to opt out despite parents' wishes, parental pressure is always an issue.

Punishment for testing positive would not be suspension, or even require legal action, however. Instead students would be referred to counseling or rehab facilities, according to CBS News.

A number of students and parents have already said they will sign up for the program, which is expected to pass tonight. There still remains some controversy over the program among parents, as some say the tests send the wrong message.

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