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N.J. Town To Vote On Middle School Drug Tests

6th, 7th & 8th Graders May Soon Be Treated Like High Schoolers

BELVIDERE, N.J. (CBS 2) —  A proposal to conduct random drug tests of young students in one New Jersey town is raising some eyebrows.

Students at Belvidere Elementary School could be adding drug testing to their list of lessons when they move into middle school.

The Board of Education will vote Wednesday on a plan to randomly test sixth, seventh and eighth graders to see if they are under the influence of drugs. School administrators said they were confident the proposal would pass.

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.

The program is voluntary and both parents and students must consent. School officials said it was important to note that if a student tested positive, they would not be suspended or have the results sent to the police.

Instead, those students would get counseling or even be referred to a rehab facility.

A number of parents and students in the close-knit town said they would be signing up for the testing.

“It takes the pressure off of them that they have an easy out to say ‘no. No I don’t want to do this, I’m afraid I’ll be tested,'” parent and teacher Noelle Kornegay said.

Drug testing is currently mandatory at Belvidere High School for students who park on campus, join clubs or participate in athletics.

“It’s been working well in the sense that parents and students understand the choices they make and are able to make better ones,” high school assistant principal Joe Flynn said.

“I don’t think it’s to really punish kids as much as to let them realize what they’re doing and the effects it has on their life,” sophomore Jim Debenedetto said.

The district said it wants to convey a similar message to its students — that the tests are not about punishment, but about getting help to those who may be experimenting with drugs.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Ramon Nwagbara

    Hahah, A spring Airsoft gun will make an awesome backup weapon but I may not wish to rely upon it as my main weapon. you’d be way out gunned against these electric machine guns now in play.

  • Joe

    Notice there’s no testing of teachers, support staff or administrators. Funny how that works.

  • Database

    Why not drug test elementary and kindergarten children as well? We have to do it for their protection. Scanners, testing kits, and leashes for every child in the nation is the only way to raise them to be compliant, conforming adults.

  • Egregious

    Ah, the old “you have nothing to worry if you have nothing to hide” argument. Didn’t the Nazi’s use that one against their own people back in the 30s and 40s?

    Schools are being turned into prisons, or at the very least prison feeder networks. They are warming the bodies up at younger and younger ages because the CCA has more prisons to build & operate and more prison labor to sell!!

  • Rhayader

    Ridiculous. Invading a young child’s privacy and putting him on the long and tortuous substance treatment/criminal justice path at this young age is beyond immoral. I think middle schoolers are clearly too young to make their own decisions about recreational substances (including alcohol), but let’s face it: trying a little pot in 8th grade isn’t going to kill anybody. Being thrown into the rehab/juvie cesspool at that age, though, can mess a person up for life.

    If parents really want their children drug tested, they can do it themselves. They shouldn’t, but they have that right. To put tax money toward this evil purpose and to codify it in institutions of learning is revolting.

  • Joey

    This wont do anything in my old high school kids were still smoking weed when there was drug testing. So this wont do much okay they wont smoke in middle school they will get to know the truth if marijuana and smoke it regardless

  • Sharon

    I am interested in this story. Teaching at a middle school in a suburb of Houston, I used to be shocked to hear our principal announce over the morning announcements, “Now boys and girls, remember to be on your best behavior on tomorrow because the drug dog will be here at 10:00 in the morning.”

  • Livelyatpendleton

    If you disagree with this you are living in a dream world. You don’t want to admit 6th graders have access to drugs but guess what it goes even lower than that. You want to believe there’s no drugs in 6th grade and you say it’s a violation of privacy. Would you rather not know that your child is doing drugs?? Stop it before it gets out of hand. I fully back this and I believe they should do this all over America

  • Ray Simoneaux

    Are you serious! Drug testing middle school students. The School Board should be ashamed of themselves for even considering such a ridiculous proposal ! The principal’s comments were totally wrong. The responsibility of raising children is with the parents, period. And to those sheeple parents who would so willingly sign up their children….SHAME ON YOU !

    • Sharon

      I implore you to have lunch at your local junior high school tomorrow.

  • Belvidere Green

    Board of Education Voted Yes. See for the story.

  • Mike00ss

    Drug testing for no reason is such an invasion of privacy. I’d never agree to my kids being tested without cause. This is the kind of behavior modification that the government wants implemented across society to turn us neighbor against neighbor even more. Resist this kind of tyranny! You can “Just say NO”, and stop this kind of government invasion of our lives.

  • Dave

    The sad fact is that kids learn to do drugs from adults who never grew up themselves. Instead of manning up and facing life sober, they cop out and take the easy way out… alcohol, pot, meth, heroine and anything else that lets them escape from reality. I never took drugs and never wanted to take them, alcohol included. I’ve always faced life head on and sometimes it was very difficult, but I managed to survive. Most people are weak in this department, and kids see that, especially when people who are supposed to be adults really behave like adolescents. They crave their youth instead of embracing their lives and climbing out of whatever rut they’re in. I feel sad for the kids, not the adults who have wasted their lives.

  • JDoe

    This is CRAZY! If a kid is going to do drugs he is obviously REBELLING. Adding more rules doesn’t change a rebel. The good side of this is that the children will have an opportunity to remove themselves from this path much sooner with rehab and counseling….Oh hell, how confusing this is :\

    • MLucas

      good point, plus how many kids in middle school seriously know how to roll a j or get quality weed that could actually affect them in school and whatnot
      it really isnt any sort of an issue until high school, worrying about this in middle school is just a combination of fear mongering and pandering to paranoid parents

  • rugbylover

    Even though they must obatin consent, isn’t this a little far reaching for school’s? How is this even Constitutionally legal? At what point do we as The People say enough is enough? Since when is it the responsibility of the taxpayer, who pay taxes, to support these type of privacy intrusions, by Public school systems? If your kid is on drugs, then there is an obvious deficit in your parenting abilities. The Sheeple of this country need to wake the f@$k up, give up even a small part of your rights, and you might as well give them all up to the Gestapo.

    • Chris

      You went on a different route then I but I fully support what you are saying. I swear that if the State of New Jersey votes in favor of this new policy, I am going to blow a gasket. It’s a waste of time, money and everything else! Kids are going to be kids! If you want to drug test your child, do it at home! Don’t the teachers already do enough?

      Let me speak the truth! If a child is doing drugs, it’s a reflection on parenting, the kids they hang out with, their surroundings and just kids being kids. They are going to experiment, that is what they do cause kids make mistakes and that is how they learn. If you suspect it, check on it your damn self! Why put it in the school districts hands?!

    • George

      Rugby lover. While I agree with your position on giving up rights. There is no Constitutional right to education either. Parents also have the option of home schooling or private schooling there children. What you are missing is that kids who choose to engage in drug use after school are engaging in drug use during school. This now takes away from the teachers energy to teach because they have to teach down to an idiot. Now you have a situation where my child who does not engage in that practice is being deprived of the full experience of learning. So now I have paid taxes, support the education system (as flawed as it may be) and want the best my children can get. You care only about the percieved right to education. You loose those rights when you signed up for a public education my friend.

  • Burt

    GREAT! Anmd next are the teachers…YES!
    Next – drug test for elected offficials.

    • Sharon

      Dear Abby said this a few years back:
      The reason American schools are ineffective: The teachers have to mind the principal and the principal has to mind the Superintendent.. The Superintendent has to mind the School Board and the School Board has to mind the parents. And for some reason the parents feel like they have to mind their children. So the children in America are running the education system!

  • mike

    God forbid they randomly drug test welfare recipients!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Destiny

    Sounds like a town full of sheeple. Look for the x-ray strip search machines to be installed next at these schools, so kids learn to make good choices regarding shampoo – I mean tweezers – oops! weapons.

  • Duke

    When ever I read some waco stuff like this my first thought is Berkeley, NY, Chicago, etc. Guess have to add New Jersey to the waco liberal states

  • Joe

    Any job that gets paid with tax payer money–welfare–unemployment—elected officials at all levels(ALL LEVELS GET MANDATORY DRUG TESTING).If results show drug use then no pay.What a savings of tax payer money.The people in many private sector jobs are subject to random testing,so why not the free loaders. Start at the top

    • Chris

      I just have to point this out, and bright enough for everyone to see


      Understand to find the druggies means you’re going to test a lot more non-druggies who cost money to be tested, and then money for whatever you were testing them for in the first place. If one does not pass a drug test then you have spent the cost for that drug test on them and can never get it back. Drug testing everybody would cost more then we would save in money we aren’t paying to the druggies, and remember that position needs to be filled so we’re not saving that money only looking for someone else to give it to.

      There is no saving money with drug testing. You do not save money by spending money. In no society anywhere is that true.

  • Causticaucasian

    It’s time to begin mandatory drug testing of anybody in any position of authority in every segment of society. Then drug testing will be denounced as an invasion of privacy.

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