Teen's in New York could face annual drug tests

By Docta · Sep 21, 2011 · ·
  1. Docta
    View attachment 22417
    A proposed law for New York state would require parents to give their children drug tests.

    State politician Joe Saladino says it would help parents know if their teenagers have a problem.

    "It's a simple test done in the privacy of your own home," he said, "and only your parents would see the results."

    Under the proposal, teens who weren't tested could be banned from attending school.

    Supporters are dubbing the plans 'Jonny's Law' after Jonathan Sieczkowski, 22, who died of a heroin overdose two years ago.

    "He was a great kid," said Jonathan's sister Cheryl, "and very, very, very loving."

    'Out of control'
    Newsbeat spoke to Cheryl as she flicked through old family photos with her sister Andrea and her mum Sharon.

    Sharon recalls a conversation with Mr Saladino, a Republican New York state assembly member, at Jonathan's funeral.

    "He came over and asked me if there was anything he could do for me or my family," she said.

    Her response: "Yes! Do something about these drugs. They are out of control! They are totally out of control."

    Assemblyman Saladino says Jonathan belonged to a wealthy, supportive and loving family.

    He says his death is proof that drug addiction "can happen to anyone, and it can happen to everyone."

    Watching you
    Drug testing is part of a package of measures being put forward.

    Other ideas include locked boxes to keep prescribed medications secure, and a working group of concerned parents, medics and officials.

    Assemblyman Saladino says it's important to monitor people up to the age of 18 because parents still have power over their children at that age.

    He says it isn't about invading a young person's privacy.

    Jonathan Sieczkowski's family: Sharon Sieczkowski, Andrea Moran and Cheryl Sieczkowski

    "We're watching you," he said, "not because we don't trust you, but because we love you very, very much."

    But New Yorkers spoken to by Newsbeat weren't keen on the idea.

    "If parents want to get their kids drug tested that's fine," said one, "but I don't think state law should require that".

    Another asked: "What else is there going to be a law about - teenage sex? It's just weird."

    It's still a long way from becoming law - but Assemblyman Saladino says it's about finding a problem while the drug user is still young enough for parents to act.

    "People I grew up with," said Cheryl, "would be one person with their parents and a completely different person behind their backs.

    "This would help parents get a glimpse of their children's real lives."

    "If nothing else," added her older sister Andrea, "we're getting people to talk about it.

    "If one child decides it's not worth it, then we won."

    BBC Monday, 19 September 2011

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  1. coolhandluke
    Assemblyman Saladino says Jonathan belonged to a wealthy, supportive and loving family.

    He says his death is proof that drug addiction "can happen to anyone, and it can happen to everyone."


    hmmmm wonder if this has something to do with it? fucking disgusting, someone has to be rich, white, and affluent for their overdose death to mean something and have legislative action brought forth. makes me fucking sick thinking about my friends who have died from the exact same thing. maybe if their parents were millionaires and lived in manhattan there would be something done about all the people i grew up with who are heroin addicts.
  2. Mick Mouse
    If its "a simple test done in the privacy of their home" and "only their parents will see the results", then how will they be banned from attending school?

    More fear-mongering and scare tactics.
  3. Wanderer
    Gotta say, Coolhandluke, a couple of things did jump out here as well, and I completely agree with you.

    They were big campaign contributors, and he wants them to stay that way. Politicians grandstanding and placating the family seeking publicity in someone else's tragedy. This makes me sick as well. Likely though the parents, as major contributors, asked him for this.

    This one is just bizarre. "Can happen to anyone", I understand. "Can happen to everyone", makes no sense. If it happens to everyone, then we should just lock the doors and all go home. Does make a catchy soundbite though.

    Millionaires or not, drugtesting is not the answer, maybe if the parents cared more about their kids rather than weekending in the Hamptons. Parents have a responsibility to their children, no matter if they are rich or poor. They should be parents first, take an active role in raising their kids, go to all the school events, sporting events, talk to their kids. Bad parenting happens no matter who you are, the parents are as much at fault as anyone else, the probably lived in denial that it could never happen to them.

    Checking in on junior once a year in the form of drug testing is not a substitute for responsible parenting. Just like pre-employment drug screening, it really doesn't solve anything.

    Be well...
  4. MikePatton
    Am I the only one who thinks this isn't such a bad idea...?
  5. Ellisdeee
    Honestly if I have to be blunt, banning a kid from school for failing a drug test is about as productive as when my highschool gave me a 3 day suspension for SKIPPING school. Hey, you bailed school, here, were gonna allow you to bail the next 3 days only now you get the make-up work policy and wont get bad grades for work given out those 3 days! Umm thanks?

    So yeah, if a kid is on drugs, clearly what is going to send him in the right direction is removing him from school. Totally productive.

    /rolleyes This is weird news :p I really don't get punishment systems sometimes when it concerns schools especially.

    Testing kids on sports teams imo is fine, they already do drug test those sort of things. I see nothing but slippery slope when I read this. If they get away with making a law to do drug tests, it's no doubt it opens up opportunity to keep moving in that direction where, legal or illegal, the govt decides what to do with your lifestyle or how one with your lifestyle should be treated. We already have drug laws that fail on quite a few known fronts...this just seems like catastrophe or a law that you would read 100 years later in a ridiculous law mockery book.

    "check this out, back 80 years ago, you were forced to take drug tests and if you tested positive for marijuana, they banned you from school!"
  6. corvardus
    Am I missing something fundamental? The guy that died is 22 years old. I understand that Legal Adulthood is 18 years in the USA. Drug testing teenagers would have achieved, what, in Johnny's case?

    "O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"

    When I hear that I always have a chuckle. The story adds to the, already, weighty counterpoint to the above.
  7. MikePatton
    Did we read the same article...? I didn't see anything that says a positive result would get you banned from school, it just said you can't go to school until your parents give you the test, what is done with the results is up to the parents as far as I know.
  8. Ellisdeee
    @ mike - While I can't see in the article it explaining what positive test results would mean for the kid (and also admitting that I thought I did see what I typed, doh) I still would probaby say the same because I have to make a couple logical deductions from my perception of it.

    1. If you could be banned for not being drug tested, you are being banned because there are 2 outcomes and they don't want one of them in class. The point of a drug test of course is to see if you are using drugs. Which leads me to...

    2. The entire system would be obsolete if you could test positive for illegal substances then go to school. So I figure...We want to testy Johnny. Oh Johnny you tested negative for all results, no problem for you, but if you and your parents refused to submit the test, you wouldn't be allowed in school. Or - We want to test Johnny. Oh Johnny tested positive...This is the part where I don't see why the test (and lack of submitting to it) ending up positive would result in anything but not attending school.

    I guess I saw it like a job, you have to take a drug test to get hired at many places. Refusal and positive tests results are often treated the same cause after all, that would be like a job asking you take a test or they won't hire you. Well if you test positive and they still hired you why would they care about the test? It would really make it incredibly weird news if you could test positive and go to school (definite undesired results by state) verses not being able to go to school for not submitting (which leaves huge potential to be clean, possible desired results).

    So I guess with my experience always being that refusing to submit to a test (like even alcohol road side tests done by cops) is almost always treated with the same conditions as failing the test, otherwise the entire system is obsolete and meaningless.

    But now that you have me wondering since they *didnt* exactly say what negative results would yield, I do wonder if that is what they would do. Or would they actually ban you for not taking it, but allow you if you take it, no matter the results. If my assumptions are false, that makes this a gold star for bogus laws because under latter conditions, you would penalize more un-proven 'innocent' people than 'proven' guilty, for lack of better words. I guess that is the key factor in this being weird news. Forced to take it to attend, but not forced to show results.
  9. rclark231
    Here's another case of how the so-called "war on drugs" is in actuality a war on our constitutional rights. it's getting to the point of absurdity, these families that have kids who die of overdoses blame everyone and everything else on their kids death except the kid or the kids families neglect. Stop trying to turn this country into a police state for everyone else because of your own neglect and an obvious regretable accident on the part of the overdosee:mad:
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