Families Sue Marian Catholic High School Over Drug Testing Program

A lawsuit has been filed against Marian Catholic High School in Chicago after a group of parents claimed the school’s drug testing program discriminates against African American students.

The lawsuit claims at least four students tested positive for cocaine during random drug testing but those students were never given a chance to appeal that finding. Attorneys for the families say independent testing indicated the test results from the school were “false positives.”

“All of the students were really model students at the school, members of the football team, the basketball team, lacrosse team, choir, going on college tours,” said attorney Mary Grieb.

Attorneys representing the students said two have already been expelled and two are fighting expulsion.

"They're devastated," said Grieb. "They're embarrassed, some of their classmates are learning about this, and our concern, and part of the concern in filing the lawsuit is how it may affect them going forward with applying to colleges applying to or transferring to other high schools."

The school confirmed in a statement that it has been randomly testing students for the use of drugs since 2008 but declined to comment on the litigation.

“Since 1958 Marian Catholic High School has focused on ensuring that our students seek truth, exhibit personal responsibility, cultivate their individual talents, and demonstrate ethical leadership and Christian service,” the statement read. “It is because of this half-century old mission that Marian Catholic is committed to providing all of our students with a safe, optimum learning environment. To achieve this environment, it must be free of illicit substances.”

Attorneys for the families in the lawsuit have asked for other students who may have been victimized by the drug tests to come forward.

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