Demand Pre-Employment Drug Testing of Teachers in New York State!

Demand Pre-Employment Drug Testing of Teachers in New York State!

138 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
New York Governor

Why this petition matters

Started by Nickole Terek

Teachers spend a lot of time with our children every day and they look up to teachers as role models and depend on them for safety during the school day.  Parents count on teachers to have superior teaching skills, good judgment, and positive morals.  Have you ever wondered how potential educators are screened before being employed by your child's school district?

I had never questioned if my children's teachers had passed a pre-employment drug screening before becoming a regular  educator, leader, and protector for my children.  I naively assumed that teachers and teacher's aides must pass a drug test and background check before assuming a caretaker role over multiple children at once.  I was sadly mistaken.  

On March 7, 2022, a teacher's aide who was recently hired to work in my son's elementary classroom as a 1:1 assistant for special needs children, was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child as well as Second-Degree Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia.  The teacher's aide required emergency medical assistance after using illicit drugs on school property and was arrested as a result of using illicit IV drugs while on the clock and ultimately responsible for taking care of special needs children, including my son.  Syracuse and Central New York Police Blotter

The teacher's aide NEVER was asked to submit to pre-employment drug testing. How can this be? The answer is that the New York State Department of Education and the unions who represent NYS teachers and teacher's aides do not require ANY educators to pass a pre-employment drug screening. As a result, public schools do not require pre-employment drug testing for school employees other than bus drivers and school nurses.  The concept of educators not being drug tested is beyond mind-boggling. Those who apply for entry-level jobs in food service or retail are drug tested before hire, but those who are tasked with caring for our children are not... 

What happened at my son's school is not an isolated event. This happens throughout the state of NY and in every state in our country and the outcomes are nothing short of tragic:

An Addict Dies in a School Restroom. He Was a Teacher.

A Brockport CSD Teacher Overdoses in Class

RCSD Teacher Found Unresponsive During School Had Fentanyl on Her

Teacher Overdosed at Franklin Campus

Florida Teaching Assistant Accused of Selling Fentanyl to Teen who Overdosed

Former Teacher's Aide Linked to 4 Overdose Deaths

Teacher's Aide Found Dead in School, Drugs Suspected

5 Pounds of Fentanyl Found in Apartment Where Chemistry Teacher Died of Overdose

Sun Valley Middle School Teacher Arrested After Suspected Overdose on Campus

Virginia Teacher Charged with Drug Possession, Cocaine Found in Desk

Greene County Kindergarten Teacher Arrested in Connection with Drug Ring

Middle School Teacher Charged with Drug Trafficking in Citrus County

Students Record Indiana Teacher Using Drugs in Classroom, Post Video

Teachers are human and are not immune to mental health issues or substance dependency as you can see in the examples above, so why are we ignoring the possibility that a new teacher could be a drug addict and make a decision to forgo drug testing?

My goal is to bring attention to the fact that public educators are not routinely screened ahead of employment for illicit drug use of any kind. Our children deserve to be in the care of responsible and drug-free adults at school.  We as parents should be doing anything possible to ensure our childrens' safety!

Please sign and share this petition so I may present the concerns of fellow parents to the NYS Education Department, respective teachers' unions, and higher government officials.  Pre-employment drug testing for educators should not be optional!

138 have signed. Let’s get to 200!