Lake Zurich Parents Protest Random Drug Testing At High School
Lake Zurich High School's proposal to randomly test students for drug use has angered a group of parents, who showed up to voice their opposition at a community forum on the issue Wednesday evening.
Calling themselves 'Lake Zurich Parents of Kids Rights,' a group of 13 parents who have vocally opposed the proposed policy in previous discussions circulated a petition in advance of the 7 p.m. meeting, according to TribLocal.
“The program is unfair and unproven. So far, the board has carelessly not explained the merits of the program," said an email from the Lake Zurich Parents of Kids Rights group, according to TribLocal. "We ask that you come to this crucial meeting. Wear a little orange to show they have awakened us, the sleeping tigers. The most important thing you can do is bring a pointed question to the meeting and ask one of the trustees to answer it sincerely.”
About 100 people showed up, overwhelmingly opposed to the drug testing, the Daily Herald reports.
The debate over administering drug tests to Lake Zurich High School students at random has been going on for about three years, Lake Zurich Patch reports. The policy proposal has been discussed and revised several times, and the board requested that District 95 administrators provide an updated draft of procedures in June.
The policy would allow the school to test hair samples from randomly-selected students six times per year for illegal drugs including marijuana, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine, TribLocal reports. Students who test positive would be suspended from athletics or extracurricular activities for half a year on their first offense, and for an entire year if they tested positive a second time.
Legally, the school can only test students involved in sports and extracurricular activities, and students with parking privileges on or near campus, according to Lake Zurich Patch.
A special meeting about the proposal was held in July, where five of the 20 people present were parents, Lake Zurich Patch reports.
"There is no other way to put a dent or slow down the drug problem," said Tom Habley, a chemical and drug dependency counselor at Stevenson High School, said at the July meeting.
“A drug-free environment should be the school's job,” parent Karen Abry said Wednesday night, according to the Daily Herald. “Drug-free students should be a parent's job.”
School officials are expected to vote on the policy by the end of the year.