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Band Member Threatened to be Kicked Out Unless Parent Signs Drug Testing Consent Form

DES ARC, Ark. -- Is drug testing a student the schools' responsibility, or the parents'? 

One father argues just because it's legal for districts to test students involved in extra curricular activities, doesn't make it right. 

Cheyenne is a 9th grader at Des Arc High School and a proud member of the band. 

Music has been a piece of her life since she was in 2nd grade. 

Despite earning good grades and several awards for her musical talents, she could be kicked out of the band. 

"I just don't want my child punished because I don't want to give up my rights as a parent," Kenneth Berryhill, Cheyenne's father said. 

Recently, a letter was sent home to all parents with kids in extra curricular activities asking to give the school permission to randomly drug test students. 

It struck a cord with Berryhill. 

"Logical response to thinking my child was on drugs would be to contact me," he said. 

Is it legal? 

Back in 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yes. 

It broadened school drug testing reach to include all extra curricular activities, not just school athletics. 

"I think that's crazy," Berryhill said. 

He brought it up to the Des Arc school administration and they agreed to review their handbook in a board meeting Monday night. 

"Since it hasn't been looked at since 2004, it's time to look at it again and make sure it's what we want," one member said in an audio recording of the meeting. 

A careful decision by the board Berryhill hopes will allow his daughter to continue making music not just at home on the piano, but at school with the band. 

Berryhill says he doesn't disagree with the school asking for permission, but wants it to be optional, not mandatory in order for students to still participate. 


 


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