QUARRYVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) - An 11-year-old girl is suing the Solanco School District in Lancaster County over a policy that requires random drug testing of students in extracurricular activities.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said it filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the Swift Middle School sixth-grader and her parents.
The lawsuit says the Peach Bottom girl was removed from orchestra and chorus at the beginning of the school year, and she cannot join any athletic or academic teams, because she and her parents refuse to consent to the drug testing policy.
“We refused to sign the forms, so on her first day of orchestra, she was on her way to rehearsal, she was told by the principal she was not allowed to be in the orchestra,” the girl’s father, Christopher McDougall said.
The ACLU said it believes the policy violates a 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that requires schools to justify suspicionless drug testing programs with evidence of a widespread drug problem among students.
Does anyone even think through these things? OK, let’s say you’ve got a kid who may have been exposed to drug activity. Maybe they tried one. So now, let’s make sure they can’t participate in any of the extra-curricular activities that have been shown to help keep kids off drugs? Let’s make sure the kid who’s experimenting with drugs can’t fill their spare time with athletics, academics, art, music, or other extra-curriculars. Let’s make sure they feel ostracized and isolated so that the only fun activity they can turn to is more drugs!
I also wonder whether the school is testing for alcohol. If not, what a great way to get kids to recognize the reality that there is one mind-altering drug that society tolerates and allows you to use while continuing your work and recreational activities. ”Don’t smoke that joint, Sally, you’ll be kicked out of band. Here, try this wine cooler instead! They don’t test for that!”