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Student in PA drug tested 3 times... She's 10 years old

DUNCANNON, Penn. (WHP/WKRC) -- A Perry County, Pennsylvania mom says she's angry with her daughter's school district, which drug tested her 10-year-old daughter three times this school year.

The mom says she is not against drug tests in schools, but she doesn't agree with testing young children.

Kristin Cassell plans to attend a Susquenita school board meeting next week and ask the board to make some changes to the drug testing policy.

Natalie, 10, is your ideal kid; a straight-A student, involved in a school club that focuses on leadership and community service and she's pretty jazzy on the saxaphone. But this school year, she came home with news that wasn't music to her mother's ears.

She'd been randomly selected for drug testing, not once... But three times!

"After the second test we just thought for a fifth and sixth grader, it's too much," said Kristin. "It's too young she's only 10!" Kristin says when she petitioned the Susquenita superintendent to change the drug-testing policy, she got nowhere.

Her daughter, Natalie, feels frustrated, too. "Well I don't think that, personally, all of the kids that are in extra-curricular activities should be tested," she said. "I think it should at least be no kids or everyone in the school, because to me, the kids in the clubs, those are the good kids."

Natalie's parents say in one case, school officials didn't call them to let them know Natalie would be tested and they say they never received any paperwork from the school after the testing took place.

"Even though I know it was a possibility [that she could be tested], I was still upset for a few different reasons," explained Kristin. "One, just simply because of her age. She's 10 years old... She's not using any drugs, but also it costs money. Each drug test is $45."

Kristen, who is also a teacher, says that is money that could be used to buy things like school supplies.

As for Natalie, she's not letting a few random drug tests keep her from all of the work she does in the community through her club at school.

WHP-TV reached out to the Susquenita schools superintendent and all of the board members, but their calls were not returned.


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