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Parent thinks school drug testing policy should exclude 5th & 6t - abc27 WHTM

Parent thinks school drug testing policy should exclude 5th & 6th graders

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The Susquenita School District has a random drug testing program for students in extra-curricular activities in the district's high school and middle school.

The middle school includes 5th and 6th graders, and at least one parent feels that's too young for such testing. She's looking to change the policy.

Kristin Cassell says before her daughter Natalie could join a club at Susquenita Middle School, they had to consent to the 5th grader being available for random drug testing.

"If you don't sign the form, your child can not be in a club," Cassell said.

Natalie ended up being tested three times this past year, all were clean. Cassell said she was the only 5th grader to be tested that many times.

Natalie's parents have a problem with kids that age being subject to random testing.

"She's 10 years old," Cassell said, "some kids start middle school in Susquenita at age 9. I don't see the necessity in testing 9, 10 and 11 year olds randomly."

She's also concerned about the cost being put on the backs of tax payers. Cassell brought her concerns to the administration and ended up talking with Superintendent Kent Smith.

"He addressed my concerns but said he was not interested in changing the policy," Cassell said.

Her next move will be appealing to the school board. She is not against random drug testing, but just doesn't feel it should apply to fifth and sixth graders. So how does Natalie feel about the testing?

"Honestly she wants to be in class," said Cassell, "the first thing she complained to me about--she says mom, they called me out of band. I had to miss band."
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