Long Island Lawmaker Saladino Wants Parents To Drug Test Teens Annually

Assemblyman's Proposal States If You Don't Comply You Can't Go To School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With drug abuse on the rise, should parents be required by law to test their children? One Long Island lawmaker says yes.

Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa) has introduced a bill that would require parents of high school students to give their children annual drug tests.

“If they dont do it, the student would not be allowed into school,” Saladino told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The proposal would mandate that parents administer the test and sign a statement swearing it was performed. The results wouldn’t be disclosed — not even to the school.

“Ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades — the parent has to sign a form that is handed into the school district that states
they have conducted a drug test on their child, and that they have seen the results,” said Saladino, who later added it’s up to the parents to decide what to do with the results.

Saladino said the drug test would help parents find out if there is a problem and whether treatment should be sought.

“We want to make sure that parents have the tools they need to determine if there’s an addiction problem with a serious drug — we’re talking heroin, barbiturates, opiates — the kinds of drugs that lead to death,” Saladino said.

He claimed the bill is designed to assist parents.

“Once a teen becomes 18-years-old, they’re an adult, and parents lose all control of the situation and are not able to get them into rehab,” Saladino said. “This helps parents identify the problem early.”

Saladino said he was prodded to act by the wave of drug-related deaths on Long Island. Both Jonathan Sieczkowski and Natalie Ciappa are from Massapequa and both died of heroin overdoses. Both families back the bill.

“Absolutely, absolutely,” Vic Ciappa said when asked if he thinks home drug testing would have saved his daughter’s life. “Remember she was already addicted by the time we realized what was going on”

But civil libertarians and some parents oppose the idea of making children urinate for a drug test.

“No way; no way, and that’s an invasion of privacy right there,” Steve Willers said.

However, there are other parents on Long Island that said that testing teens annually is not enough.

“Once a year is not going to do anything,” the father of a 16-year-old girl said. “They’re not going to do drugs for a week, they’re going to get drug tested and then they could do drugs for a whole year. It makes no sense.”

“If it becomes law, the potential benefit is that parents would be forced to have a conversation that they frequently postpone,” said Jeffrey Reynolds of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

A spokesman for the ACLU has not commented directly on the Saladino bill but pointed out it has sued to overturn high school drug testing programs in Pennsylvania and other states.

The bill does not yet have a sponsor in the state senate.

Do you support the bill? Let us know below…

  • May

    Home drug tests already exist and are easily obtainable, without prescription, at any local drug store. This has nothing to do with helping parents. What it will accomplish is causing a rift between parents, children, the school district, and the government.

  • Nathaniel Elam

    Mandatory drug testing is as Un-American as a Hammer and Sickle. Even if this idiot’s law were to pass, and I hope to hell the NY State Legislature isn’t that stupid, there is no way in hell it would pass a court challenge.

  • phil enright

    Free drug test mailed in total privacy through any computer directly to the home, one per family. Simply go to www,drugtestyourteen.com, order the 6 panel instant test kt and enter the promo code “PDE” on check out. Only charge is the $3.00 mailing. Email me if you have any questions. I live in Medford where the drug store murders took place. My email is phile123@aol.com

  • Christopher Bowen

    One more “guilty until proven innocent” piece of total garbage. I hate people like this who are so holier than thou it makes me want to yarf.

  • Me

    No, I do not support the proposed law. Drug testing should not be happening for anyone, let alone students.

    If there is to be drug testing of students (Or anybody) I want these representatives tested every day, I want these representatives cavity searched every day. I want cameras on them at all times, even when they sleep. I want these representatives monitored and recorded, every single last word they utter at all times. I want them stripped naked so we can see if they are hiding anything. I want complete DNA testing done, as well as intelligence testing and a complete psychological profile done by 12 different doctors and the results made public.

    This is just a start of what needs to happen to these representatives.

  • junta1

    how about a drug that prevents idiots from trying to pass silly bills into law?

  • themadscientist

    This guy must be smoking crack to come up with such a ridiculous idea; get him a cup. The voters of this district need to have the tools to know that new idiotic laws are not the result of legislators being high on bat s***, but rather through the time-honored system of simple, sober stupidity

  • soccermama

    This bill shoudln’t see the light of day. Firstly, what it mandates is completely ineffective in terms of detection, as you point out above. Secondly, it is a gross civil rights violation. I don’t want what I do with my body, my bathroom or my bedroom legislated.

    If Saladino wants to fight drug abuse, how about funding schools to provide psychologists who are trained in detecting abuse in at-risk groups? How about involving the local police departments and allowing them to enter schools without the layers of red tape they have to go through now? So many districts and parents are in complete and utter denial that problems even exist…and believe me, they have been told on numerous occasions, at least in Massapequa,

  • Krissie

    No way- if Saladino and the people in Florida had their way, there would be no privacy. Ironically, the Republicans are supposedly the ones against big government. If parents want to test their kids, that’s one thing, but the government has no place telling me how to raise my kids.

  • ekl

    Unfortunately, an annual drug test will do little to curb this problem. The teen will obviously need to be told about it and can moderate their habit accordingly.ALl they have to do is plan around the test. Passing the costs on to an already burdened electorate is hardly the way to accomplish a drug free high school environment,

    Besides, if one wants a true reading, a random test in school is far more likely to give an accurate picture of what is going on. Of course, the state will then have to fund it, as school districts are already facing the state mandated property tax cap legislature.

    A few more questions: what if the teen fails the screen? What happens? They are still mandated to attend school. So what have you accomplished? What happens to serial violators? Slap on the wrist? I propose we bring back the “600”schools. If they cannot behave, they also cannot be allowed to disturb the learning environment for everyone else.

    A failed screen without any consequences is simply a waste of time and money.

  • Frank Rizzo

    It’s about time someone came up with this idea. One thing that has been lost in our War on Terror and War on Poverty has been the War on Drugs.

  • Htos1

    Here in Florida,the welfare state does have mandatory testing,but when we require this of politicians,first and foremost?

  • Mike

    My first reaction was to wonder how much stock does Rep. Saladino have invested with the drug testing companies. Anyway, what ever happened to the GOP being for LESS government intrusion into citizens’ lives?

    • themadscientist

      CLm, That should have been “you’re.” That’s the proper contraction of “you are.” “Your” is the possessive form. Oh sweet irony.

    • CLm

      Your a physician who has terrible grammar and spelling.

  • Disgusted with politicians

    Saladino go $&%* yourself and stay away from how I take care of my kids. Instead of kids how about all those on welfare, food stamps and unemployment. Then like mentioned above, all school employees and Nassau County workers along with politicians.
    By the way you see how 5% of us voted down the Coliseum project. Don’t think the same people wont vote you out of office along with the rest of you A-holes.

  • Luis Martinez

    Finally someone is making sense,up to this day they had been waiting until they got in trouble to test them,I guess with this new idea parents as well as school will have a better solution to the problem and much faster,facing the problem with time will save them lot headches tomorrow.

    • You D0uche!


      I wish your parents used birth control.

  • Kara

    I am so sick and tired of the automatic assumption that all teens are either misbehaving or participating in distructive behavior. Perhaps rather than forcing all teens to submit to a drug test, whether it is warrented or not, maybe there should be more education for parents available on what to look for regarding signs of drug use. Better yet, be parents! Make it your business to know who your children are spending time with, where they are going, and so on ~ in other words, know your own children! As the parents of 2 teens, 16 and 19, I think that is far more valuable and useful than forcing to urinate into a container on an annual basis.

    • soccermama

      Yes, yes, and yes. Allowing a teenager a “curfew” that is past midnight isn’t very shrewd. There is a difference between trusting your child, and being completely gullible.

  • S.Byrnes

    If I have to drug test my kid for him to be allowed in school then I want every single school employee from superintendant to part time cafeteria worker drug tested also…how would the teachers union respond to that???

    • test for teachers too

      you got a point there, and you are absolutely right.

  • Randi Getz-Tessitore

    I went to high school with this moron. I was in class. Perhaps you should ask him where he was…

    • Krissie

      He obviously didn’t inhale.

  • Incredulous reader

    What was stopping those parents from testing their kids before? Too embarrassed to bring it up to their precious little ones? No wonder there was a problem.

    If this idiotic measure ever gets beyond a committee, who do they expect to pay for the kits?

    • Today's Mom

      It’s so much easier to let the government test my kids for drugs, what with my own prescription drug stupor and all!

  • http://bestblogeverismine.wordpress.com bestblogeverismine

    What a waste of time, don’t these politicians have anything better to spend their time on? How in the world can they mandate something so intrusive and in violations of our rights. If as a parent I suspect my child to be doing drugs then I should have that option to test them as often as I need to and do as I know is best to deal with those results. But to mandate it under law? What a joke.

  • duh

    next thing you know they will tell us what to eat, and where to smoke, and, oh wait, they already do. never mind


    another fascist politician hard at work violating peoples rights. i love the concept of kids not having rights.

  • Nick

    There are way too much craaap from politicians.

    I demand passage of a Bill to anal probe politicians annually. Preferably with electric cattle prods.

    • mj

      i support that

  • Ellen Benedetto

    That’s ridiculous not to mention against our Rights and those of the children. I am not saying that drug testing isnt a good idea if a parent wishes to avail themselves of it but mandating it under the law?! The media has done a very good job of publicizing the rising problem so its not as is parents can say they dont know

  • Stan R

    diane schuler should have been tested! other than that this guy is a moron.

  • Ben Magee

    This guy must be on drugs to propose such utter madness.

  • patruns

    Saladino rhymes with Paladino…… Yeah, he went far!

  • Raissa Castillo


  • J.Q. Public

    Imagine the uproar if taxpayers wanted to randomly drug test politicians.



  • patruns

    Saladino, where is your head at? Maybe you should go back to yellow journalism. You can’t seriously think this is a good idea. I believe that parents should be responsible for their children but this is really over the top! No wonder you do not yet have a sponsor in the senate. Let me know when you do so that I can vote you both out come next election.

  • mj

    WHERE and WHEN DOES GOV’T interference in our private lives end ? these politicians are out of control. if they want to make SUGGESTIONS as far as issues like this , thats fine but passing laws making these type of things mandatory ….? WHO is going to pay for the drugt testing kits ? what wil be the punishment for parents that don’t, won’t or can’t do the tests ? where do we draw the line ? its just ANOTHER example of a law maker trying to enforce THEIR will on the people , in an attempt to tell us how to live our personal lives.

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