Pubdate: Thu, 23 Oct 2008
Source: Advertiser-News, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2008 Straus Newspapers
Author: William J. Vindler


Please consider this just one dad's opinion on random drug testing at
Vernon High School.

Having put four children through the Vernon school system since 1979,
I have nothing but the utmost respect and faith in the administration
and staff. However, under the current laws, they can only do so much
to circumvent potential problems with drug use by the students.

During his freshman year, my son's suspected use was brought to my
attention by the school. At that time I took him for drug testing and
counseling. Unfortunately, he was aware that he was going to be tested
and the test was negative. Eventually, we discovered that he was using
drugs. In and out of rehab since 2000, he suffered through the effects
and demons that his drug use caused. Unfortunately, his family
suffered along with him. His use of marijuana, crack, cocaine and
finally heroin finally came to end in May of this year. On Wednesday,
May 28, 2008, I received a call that my son had been found dead as the
result of a drug overdose. He was laid to rest at the tender age of

Parents aren't supposed to bury their children. Would random testing
have made a difference with Billy? I can't say with certainty that it
would have helped, but it certainly would not have hurt. Random
testing is just that, it is random. The fact that those students in
the testing pool would include not only athletes and club members but
also those who drive to school represents a broad population of
students. A computer picks the names and testing is immediate.
Participants have to provide a certain amount of urine and the
container has a temperature gauge on it to insure that the specimen
has come directly from the subject's body. If the testing is done
under requirements of the law, there is no way to cheat the test.

I hear many people talking about the students rights; what about my
rights as a parent? I am never going to see my son again. If random
drug testing saves even one family the heartache that my family has
suffered, it is worth it.

My son's birthday was August 24, 2008. Billy would have been 27 years
old. For his 27th birthday, I bought him a headstone for his grave.

William J. Vindler

Highland Lakes
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