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updated: 7/8/2011 7:09 AM

Lake Zurich D95 unveils who could be tested for drugs

District 95 unveils proposal's details

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By Danielle Gensburg
dgensburg@dailyherald.com

Lake Zurich High School students who participate in extracurricular programs and have parking permits, and 90 other randomly selected students per school year would be tested for drugs under a proposal discussed Thursday.

Students could be suspended from school as a result of testing positive and could be banned from any extracurricular activities.

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The details came in a special Lake Zurich Unit District 95 meeting with parents -- some of whom were not happy with the proposal.

"What have the parents of Deer Park, Forest Lake, Lake Zurich, North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods failed to do to compel the administration to take parental rights away?" said Keith Petropoulos, a parent of five. He added, "This meeting of drug testing is premature."

But administrators said the exact procedures for drug-testing are far from finalized.

"As we move forward in this, we have asked the administration to draft a procedure so as to understand the details for what a potential program would look like," District 95 board President Kathy Brown said.

While all students in extracurricular programs and who have parking permits would be tested, 15 other students would be randomly selected in each of six testing periods throughout the school year. A student assistance coordinator would administer the test, but the method for testing -- with urine or hair samples -- hasn't been decided yet.

Expulsion was not presented as a possible consequence for testing positive.

Parent Kim Roach, while not openly against the proposal, emphasized the gravity of the task if drug testing should take place.

"If an individual's testing results are positive, where does a school's responsibility end?" Roach said. "You have a huge task ahead of you and I hope you take all the details into consideration."

With many questions left unanswered, the board decided that a second survey, following one sent out in March, should be administered with the details discussed Thursday. The district would review and discuss the results of the survey with the public in the fall before any final decisions or votes are made.

Public schools are forbidden to force every student to submit to drug testing under state law, but students involved in clubs, sports or extracurricular activities all can be tested.

District 95 officials have already approved a student assistance program at the high school to begin in the fall, complete with an adult coordinator to offer both guidance and support to students.

Among the Lake County schools, Grayslake North and Central, Antioch High School, and Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa also have assistance program coordinators. Antioch and Lakes have drug testing programs.

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