Drug Testing Coming Back to Delaware Valley Schools

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WESTFALL TOWNSHIP -- Delaware Valley School District in the Poconos plans to once again give random drug tests to students.

It's a policy the school practiced for a few years then stopped because of a lawsuit. Now, a Pike County judge has ruled the policy is constitutional.  So the district plans to start the drug tests again.

Students we spoke with are for it.

Andrew Neidig is a senior at Delaware Valley High School near Milford. He plays soccer and tennis, which he says has helped him get accepted into college this fall. Something else he says has helped, he says, is not using drugs.

"It's very good to know you're a positive person and you're clean from using certain drugs," said Neidig.

A few years ago, Neidig was randomly tested for drugs when Delaware Valley School District's policy was active.

Only student athletes and students who drive to school were randomly tested.

When Neidig was tested he says he was more than willing.

"I just did the drug test because I know I'm a clean athlete," said Neidig.

Delaware Valley students were randomly drug tested until 2011.That's when two parents filed a lawsuit against the school claiming that their children's rights were being violated.

Then the drug testing stopped. That is until January 21 when a judge declared that the drug testing policy is constitutional and it will start back up sometime in the spring.

"It gives kids an excuse so if they're ever in a bad situation and getting that pressure to use something. They got a great excuse to say 'I can't because I can be drug tested at any time,’" said John Bell, the school superintendent.

Neidig is also glad to hear the policy could be coming back.

"I think it's a good thing to establish at Delaware Valley. It cleans up everything and allows us to have a more positive environment," said Neidig.

Mike Oswald graduated from Delaware Valley in 2003. He now works at Wihlborg's Deli in Milford.The drug testing policy was in place when he went to high school and Oswald says it helped create a clean learning environment.

"Why not crack down at the schools, start young. Know what's going on can't hurt," said Oswald.

The Delaware Valley School Board is expected to discuss the drug testing policy at its meeting on February 18. If it gives the OK, random drug tests for athletes and students drivers at Delaware Valley could start as soon as the spring.


  • Sanitys Advocate (@SanitysAdvocate)

    I can’t flesh out my full disgust with this policy or this school as a whole, but I’m absolutely disgusted with the whole thing. The arguments in favor are pathetic (no offense). Breaching rights for a social good, one that is highly disputable, is deplorable and taken to its logical conclusion leads you to horrific ends. Breaching rights to enforce faulty laws like drug prohibition is equally deplorable. Treating students like criminals…well, I simply dont understand it. Why antagonize students unnecessarily? “But too many kids are doing drugs!”. So the response is force and control? What a primal, savage response.

  • Wake Up!

    “If you have nothing to hide, a drug test should be no big deal.” This is
    what is said to students to get them to easily comply. It’s an easy way to
    get students to surrender their rights without them even knowing it.
    Students then repeat this saying to other non-conforming students.
    Students do not take into consideration the underlying fact that random
    drug tests are a violation of their right to privacy. Every person has a
    4th amendment right even on school grounds, students have a right to
    privacy. You are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty in this
    country, not the other way around. Students do not have a choice at DVSD -they have to choose between their constitutional rights and participating in activities. “If you have nothing to hide, give up your constitutional rights!” This is not a principle, that we should be teaching our children.
    Those “with nothing to hide” have constitutional rights! Teach them that
    they have rights, so they know to defend them!

  • Concerned Student

    I am a 4.6 gpa student athlete and driver, and like Cole I do not do drugs. It is very interesting to me how random drug testing will only consist of a previously decided group of students. This will also create bias in the results they get from the testing because of the lack of diversity in the group selected. Do the people in charge of this realize that non athletes, people who take the bus, and even the passengers of drivers could all be drug users? I walk the halls of DV five days a week and I can promise you that this policy is targeting the wrong group, most athletes would not jeperdize their athletic careers with drugs. On the other hand scientific studies have proven again and again that those not involved are the most at risk for drug use. I see this in the halls every day. I personally do not even care if the teachers are subjected to these tests, but it really grinds my gears that I will have to miss valuble instruction is my 4 AP and other honors classes while the real problem is getting high in the Walmart parking lot. If they are going to call it a “random” drug testing, then I suggest it actually be random or they should call it “infringement on a select group’s civil rights” drug testing. You don’t need to be a statistician to see that this doesn’t add up.

    • DVSD paretn

      Interviewing only those in favor of the policy makes for a very bias article!
      What DVSD and this article failed to mention is that DVSD had the lowest number of drug incidences while the injunction was in place and the policy was on hold.
      Just because you have nothing to hide does not mean you should be forced to surrender your constitutional rights. DVSD is drug testing the least likely population of students.
      DVSD sports teams do not play only other school teams that drug test their students.
      How many of those in favor of the drug testing policy while the injunction was in place, had their student voluntarily drug testing at DVSD? Why didn’t they if they want to know if their child is using drugs?. Parents can have their student drug tested anytime at DVSD!
      If you are against the school district reinstating the drug testing policy, parents and students need to turn out in a large number and voice their opinions to the school board at the next school board meeting.
      Saying”if you have nothing to hide, then you should comply” is brainwashing students to give up their rights and many students do not even know that they have rights on school grounds.
      As we know drug testing Olympians has work so well. Lance Armstrong was drug tested over and over again. But the fact is that the lawsuit filed was about constitutional rights, not drugs. Of course their are drug incidences in high schools but that does not mean students constitutional rights should be stripped away. Everyone has a 4th amendment right!

      • Wake Up!

        DVSD is going to be drug testing 10 and 11 year olds – 6th – 12th.graders. How many 10 and 11 year old get expelled each year at DVSD for drug incidences? And while the policy was in place, why did they not drug test the 6th graders at Shohola Elementary School but drug tested the 6th graders when they attended DVMS?

        The news report failed to mention the school district drug tests those involved in clubs such as Yearbook, National Honor Society, and Scrapbooking too! It’s not just sports and those who drive to school.
        The lawsuit began because they wanted to drug test a 7th grader who wanted to participate in the stamp and scrapbooking club!

        Isn’t it great to see how media works? They only report on what they want!

  • Cole Acoveno

    First of all I do not use drugs & I am a 3 sport varsity athlete. Now I believe this is very unfair & unconstitutional. This is unfair because it targets arguably the most important aspect of our school which is the student athlete population. If the school is going to drug test a certain “type” of student then why not just drug test “green” or “yellow” or “tall” or “female” students? It attacks a certain group who arguably are NOT the sole issue at hand! It is typically the kids who are not involved that get caught up in drugs, that’s just my opinion obviously. Constitutionally this violates our basic rights. Since drugs aren’t specified in the constitution along with education the states assume the role of shaping that specific policy aka federalism. Now if some states and school districts aren’t doing drug testing then where is the fairness with that? Also the. 4th amendment goes against any unreasonable searches & seizures which absolutely goes along with drug tests and is being violated! This would all make more sense if this was a private school but it’s not. The students are forced to go here by state law (unless they pay an absurd amount for a private school) and then they have the audacity to try to control what students do outside of the school barriers. That’s too big of government for me & I believe that is not what our country was built around and I hope this is stopped.

    • Providing FACTS to people who won't listen


      Very well said. It’s refreshing to see young people who understand what liberty and freedom truly mean.

      I don’t condone drug use by high school students, but I also do not condone the school acting as a police force for issues that do not happen on the school grounds.

    • Lead by example!

      Parents need to get together and contact the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) maybe they will help with this violation of civil rights aimed at only part of the school population. Why doesn’t the School Administration subject themselves to the same policy? It should be applied to Administrators, teachers and students! What are they afraid of?? What are they afraid of? Parents get to the School Board meetings and insist it be applied to everyone. I got the reply “It’s not in their contract” Well, let’s insist it gets put in their contract! There is an epidemic of teachers in the news so let’s not say that they are above this. A good point was made that when you subject only a certain group to rules it is bullying! They are hypocrites to not step forward and include themselves!

  • Cathi

    I don’t completely agree with this because there is too many issues with “random”, but here is a scenario for thought…if the school requires certain vaccinations to be performed on every kid for their protection & the protection of others, then why not protect all students & require all students/teachers (anyone around the kids) to get a drug test? Aren’t drugs dangerous. Yes, it would cost money to do this, but aren’t we saving possible lives by teaching everyone it will not be tolerated & ultimately we as tax payers would be paying down the line anyway. It could be in the form of a law suit against the school, God forbid some drugged out student injured someone on school grounds or if they end up in jail, our tax dollars pay for that too.

  • Terry Balton

    It’s not just athletes and drivers. It expands to all students involved in extra-curricular activities at Delaware Valley.

    • Kaylee Merchak

      This statement is true. I believe that is was any student though, because even when I was not enrolled in extra curricular activities I was randomly tested. I was randomly selected for drug testing many times during my four years at DV.

  • lead by example for once!

    Why not be fair and subject teachers and faculty to random drug tests too??? Anybody who can read can see that there is an epidemic with teachers getting in trouble!! Put “teachers” in the search block just on WNEP and see the long list! Let’s include them in this policy. Parents call the ACLU. It is OK to violate your children’s rights but it is not OK to violate theirs! Let us lead by example and show the students that you people are willing to set an example concerning drub abuse! Subject yourselves to the same policy as the students. Yeah right what a joke! Hypocrites.

    • HS teacher who agrees

      You have a valid argument. Students, faculty, and staff should all be subject to the testing. I am a HS teacher. We are told to lead by example by modeling proper behavior to the students. If the students are to be tested then all of the teachers should be willing to lead by example and be tested as well.

      • Fair too all

        If it is done across the entire School from student to bus driver to custodian to superintendent it eliminated the controversy of this policy. There would no longer be the argument of unfairness to the students and would sent a message to the entire district that the School District is serious about their policy on drugs! Is would send a message that the School District will not tolerate drug use from anyone-no exceptions. Now this would be a policy no-one could could be offended by or argue with…PERIOD! This would eliminate the argument that only one group (the student’s) civil rights are being violated. And isn’t singling out the students a form of bullying? When you subject only a certain group to rules I believe it certainly is! Another “Do as I say not as I do” approach by the School Districts! Why not implement this no-exception policy? Fairness and consistency of policy cannot be argued with!!

      • Joseph Gwaisditus

        First I would like to shake your hand for being willing to stand up and be an example to the students. We need more teachers and administrators like you willing to “walk the walk” not just “TALK THE TALK”. I’m from a school district (North Schuylkill) who is willing to tolerate a machine gun firing, foul mouth, threatening video making (on you tube) lunatic bully serving on the school board! Other members insist this has nothing to do with him serving on the school board! Code of Conduct doesn’t apply to him!?!?!?!? It is refreshing to see someone willing to be an example not an exception. Thank you for this.

      • shortygal9

        I commend you for “leading by example”! It’s definitely the best way to go if you ask me. Kudos to you HS teacher :)

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