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Northern Valley Regional High School District Rejects Drug Testing Plan

The Northern Valley Regional High School District's offices in Demarest, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

The Northern Valley Regional High School District’s offices in Demarest, N.J. (credit: CBS 2)

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DEMAREST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Northern Valley Regional High School District in New Jersey rejected a proposal for random student drug testing on Monday.

The final vote by board members was 5-4.

Christopher Nagy, the superintendent of the district, had been pushing for the testing because he said nationwide studies show more students are getting hooked on drugs. The proposal would only have tested students who took part in extracurricular activities or who had parking permits.

But at a packed, heated public hearing in Demarest earlier this month, critics said the plan creates an atmosphere of suspicion and is being partially based on a survey conducted eight years ago.

Brooke Levinson, a star athlete at Demarest High School, said she’s angry about the proposal.

“For us to have to get up and leave class and pee in a cup is just ridiculous,” the sophomore said.

Added her mother, Elysa: “I think (the schools) should be in the business of educating, not parenting.”

“I personally don’t do drugs,” said sophomore Isabelle Ferber. “I don’t do alcohol, and I don’t think I should be suspected of doing it.”

Under the proposal, a failed drug test would have banned a student from extracurricular activities, but not lead to a suspension or arrest or go on the student’s school record.

The Northern Valley Regional High School District runs Demarest and Old Tappan high schools.

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