- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Parents expressed outrage Monday night after a New Jersey school district proposed random alcohol and drug testing for thousands of high school students.

A preliminary plan was outlined at a Northern Valley Regional High School Board meeting that would affect 5,000 students at the Demarest and Old Tappan high schools starting next year, NBC 4 New York reported.

According to the plan, student IDs will be placed in a pool from which a contracted drug testing provider will randomly draw the names of a minimum of 10 percent of the students for testing. Those students selected would be tested the same day and a courtesy phone call would be made to the parents following the administration of the test. Any student who refuses to be tested “will be in violation of

the proposed NVRHSD Random Drug Testing Policy,” the plan reads.

Students won’t be punished the first time they test positive, Superintendent Christopher Nagy said, and the result won’t go on the student’s record.

The district said students would have to visit a counselor or lose school privileges if they tested positive for drugs or alcohol a second time. The measure is meant to act as a deterrent for students against drugs and alcohol.

But a majority of parents at the meeting disagreed, NBC reported.

“The data is all over the place,” Jamie Kopf said. “It’s not something that’s conclusively proven to help reduce use of drugs.”

“Why am I not competent enough to deal with my own child’s problem?” another parent asked, receiving applause.

The district projects testing to cost between $8,000 and $18,000, NJ.com reported.

It was not immediately clear when the board would vote on the matter, The Record said.

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