Parents Protest Student Drug Testing Plan

Proposal would have 15 students randomly tested for drugs six times per year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    No one in Lake Zurich says there's a rampant drug problem, but the school board views the policy as a potential deterrent. (Published Wednesday, Oct 5, 2011)

    Dozens of suburban parents gathered Wednesday evening to protest a plan to start randomly drug testing students at Lake Zurich High School who participate in extra-curricular activities and who have parking privileges.

    "No government has the right to come snooping around in anybody's personal business," said parent Keith Petropoulos, a father of five who opened his home to several concerned parents prior to the forum.

    No one in the community says there's a rampant drug problem, but the school board views the policy as a potential deterrent. Under the proposal, hair samples of 15 athletes would be randomly taken six times per year. The samples would be tested for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine.

    A positive result would force the student to be suspended from the sport or activity for a half-year. On a second offense, the student would be suspended from activities for one-year, according to the current draft plan.

    "The basic reason why only people that are active or privileged are tested is because that's the way the Supreme Court laid it down," said Lake Zurich Unit D95's Mike Finn, pointing to 2002's Board of Education v. Earls decision.

    He added that he wasn't defending the court's decision, but was instead just stating fact.

    Still, one after another, parents at the meeting urged the board to reconsider.

    "Where is the statistics that say that the students in this district are declining, so we need to have drug testing," asked one parent.

    Students feared the policy, if enacted, could have them facing consequences that some of their peers wouldn't.

    "If I were to do [drugs] once, and make a mistake, and get punished for it, and there goes my whole future, I can't be on newspaper, I can't get into the college that I want because of it," said student Angelica Levito.