Teachers Refuse to Take Drug Tests After Heroin Found in Elementary School

OMG 35

needleSchool bathrooms can be scandalous places. After all, it's where students are most likely to smoke, bully each other, or hide out while skipping a class. However, Benjamin Cosor Elementary School has taken the lavatory lore to a whole new level. Police say that heroin and drug paraphernalia were found in the faculty bathroom, which is off-limits to students. Sadly, that can only mean one thing: an adult who is in charge of children is using drugs on school grounds. Scary thought, right? Wait, it gets worse.

By using camera footage, Fallsburg, New York investigators were able to whittle down the possible suspects to eight faculty members who used that particular men's restroom before the narcotics and needles were discovered. Administrators then asked that they take a drug test to determine who the culprit was. While each of them did initially agree, all but one quickly changed his mind and hired a lawyer on the advice of the teachers' union.

Of course, the pervading theory among police and parents is that if they have nothing to hide, why not take the urine test? It's certainly a fair question. Don't parents have the right to know if a drug addict is teaching their children? I know there will be arguments about civil liberties and one's right to privacy, but when it comes to a situation involving children, the choice is simple. This person committed a crime on school property, and a potentially dangerous one at that. What if a faculty member had gotten poked by a needle or, worse, a student had happened upon these things?

Growing up in this country is an uphill battle for many children these days. They are faced with situations involving violence, sex, and crime early on. School should be a safe haven of sorts or, at the very least, parents should not have to worry about one of the staff members using drugs feet away from where their children are learning. So asking for a drug test seems incredibly fair -- at least to this parent. On the other hand, if the drugs had been found near the school rather than in it, this request would be unreasonable. But fact of the matter is, someone these families trusted put these students in danger.

Do you think the school has a right to force the suspects to take drug tests?


Image via Lauri Rantala/Flickr

elementary school, safety


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2baby... 2babymomma

Why shouldn't they other jobs have drug tests

nonmember avatar Jessica

Uhh, if I have to take a drug test to work for a cleaning company then, YES people who teach and are in charge of children should be tested! How is that even a question?!


Of course I think the school should have that right but I don't know what rules and regs. protect teachers. Also I think if you have nothing to hide...Too bad you cant fire all who wouldn't take the test. Nothing like having a junkie teaching.

nonmember avatar Alexandra

Found in faculty bathroom so of course not! Even the union can't help if they test positive for that so in a show of solidarity, none will take it. Gee, hope the students get a free pass too!

Books... BooksandWine

As at teacher (who would easily pass a drug test) I think the issue was that the union told them not to, because it would set a precendent. I'm sick of unions protecting teachers who are terrible in the classroom, or worse- possibly endangering students with this type of conduct. While I see the value of the union, I think they go to far in "protecting" teachers sometimes.

2cent... 2centsCDN

I could understand not wanting to take the drug test if say you smoked weed on the weekend and didn't want it held against you BUT the heroin was in the school, that means a teacher was using as they taught. Thats just shameful!

Many other professions have regular and/or random drug testing...why not teachers?

Tracys2 Tracys2

They do drug-test in our district, but I think drug tests for anything not involving immanent public safety (bus, train, plane driver) is annoying. If there is a problem with performance, people can be fired. Including teachers- real tenure protections only apply to college-level teachers, at least in my state. If there is no problem with performance, I don't care what they are doing at home.

The fact that it came into the school is a problem. I don't have a one-size-fits-all solution to that. Same as if a teacher brought in a knife or a beer or cigarettes-- you can't test for everything.

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

As both a teacher and a parent, I think a drug test would be absolutely justified.  That said, remember that faculty bathrooms are not limited to teachers only: it could well have been a custodian, cafeteria worker, even a visiting parent who used the paraphernalia found, hopefully the user is one of those and not someone directly responsible for safely supervising children!

Traci... Traci_Momof2

If I made the rules I would test every member of the faculty and staff and I would fire anyone who refused the test.  But I don't make the rules so...

Beth McCormack Bernitt

I think EVERY teacher should be randomly drug tested!  as should Doctors and Nurses. HIPPA would cover any reason why this shouldn't occur.  I can't imagine that all the teachers in this union want to protect this person!

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