St. Patrick parent outraged by drug testing proposal

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The parent of a St. Patrick High school student says she is shocked and angry about a letter sent out by the superintendent of schools.

That letter, from Dr. Mike Ladner, was sent to the parents of any student in the seventh through 12th grade at the five upper level schools in the diocese. In it, Dr. Ladner explains the diocese is considering instituting drug testing of any student in those grades.

That's why Crystal Locklar is so angry.

"When I first read this letter, my blood was boiling," she told WLOX News.

Dr. Ladner's letter cites some national statistics about the growing problem of drug use among high school students. But he also makes it very clear, he is convinced the schools in the Biloxi diocese do not have a drug problem. He says the entire purpose for this proposal, is to serve as a deterrent to drug use.

Crystal Lockler isn't buying that argument.

"It is almost like an accusation against all students in grades 7 through 12. They are going to assume your child is guilty until they prove themselves to be innocent," she said.

Lockler is a working mom. Her family owns Josette's in Biloxi. She and her husband have three children in Catholic schools, with the oldest going to St. Patrick.

She wrote a letter in response to Dr. Ladner's letter. She certainly did her due diligence, and points out a lot of potential pitfalls with the drug testing idea.

She also told us, plenty of parents are outraged by this.

"I have not found one that is in favor of this so far. Some are afraid to speak up because they are afraid of retaliation, or afraid because they work within the school district itself."

Lockler calls the proposal an attack on her child's constitutional rights. And she warns that if anybody touches her child for the purpose of drug testing, she will file criminal charges.

"I consider this to be an assault," she said.

Dr Ladner told WLOX News in a phone call, that he wants everyone to know this is only a proposal right now. If the policy is implemented, it would take affect in January of 2014. He also said he welcomes any input from parents regarding the proposal.

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