Mom says she never gave school permission to administer sobriety test on son

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MURRYSVILLE, Pa. - A mother of a student in the Franklin Regional School District is upset because she said her son was forced to take a sobriety test at school and she wasn’t notified.

The Franklin Regional School District’s student drug testing policy is as follows:

"If a student demonstrates observable behavior during the school day or a school-related activity  ... that creates suspicion of drug or alcohol use, the district shall, with the parents' permission, conduct a drug test at the District's expense.”

Lori Taylor told Channel 11 News she never gave the school permission to administer the test.

“He’s still a minor. They trampled all over his rights and my rights,” she said.

Taylor said her son was tired at the time and not drunk.

She said a teacher pulled the 10th grader from the cafeteria in front of a group of classmates as he was waiting for the VO tech bus.

“He had his hood up and his eyes closed leaning against the wall, and someone assumed he was under the influence,” said Taylor. 

The 16-year-old told his parents the principal escorted him to the nurse’s office.

“They took his temperature and looked into his eyes. They gave him the full heel-to-toe test like they do if you were pulled over for a DUI.  He was very upset.  He was mortified,” said Taylor.

Assistant Superintendent Mary Catherine Reljac told Channel 11 sobriety tests are never performed at the school, but she said they do reserve the right to do basic impairment testing without parental consent if a student is suspected of having an undiagnosed medical condition.

In a statement, Reljac said, “If a student doesn't look like himself/herself or if a staff member is concerned that a student may be having a medical issue, our school handbook procedure is to have the student assessed by the school nurse. This assessment is not a Breathalyzer or drug test, but merely a non-invasive assessment.”

Taylor said her son's tests came back negative, but it doesn't undo the embarrassment he felt.