Drug testing in schools divides northern New Jersey district

Matthew Zalaznick's picture
Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jason Baretz wore a striped convict’s outfit as he addressed a group at Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest on a recent Monday evening.

The get-up was a costume, but Jason, 16 and a junior at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, the district’s other high school, was not acting in a school play. He was voicing his opposition to random drug testing before a public meeting of the board of education.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the board, I’ve come here today to ask you to look down upon me as a criminal,” he said. “Not because I have engaged in anything unlawful, but because this is how a random drug testing policy will make kids feel.”

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