WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A City View High School parent said the rights of her son who has autism were violated when he was drug tested without her consent.
School leaders with the City View Independent School District said that is not the case.
Lara Dickerson said she has no problem with her son being drug tested, however all she wanted was a heads up the morning of the test to be able to talk to her son who has autism, but Superintendent Tony Bushong said that is not policy especially since parents are given a consent form to complete at the beginning of the school year.
“It’s nothing to do with really the drug test it’s the principle behind it,” Bushong said.
Brandon and Lara Dickerson say City View ISD official’s bullied their son into a randomly selected drug test.
“When he was selected he had asked to call his parents numerous times,” Dickerson said. “He asked a teacher he then asked a coach and then he asked the principal numerous times, the principal told him he is not allowed to call me.”
Bushong said it is board policy to randomly test students who participate in extracurricular activities and parents are notified at the beginning of the school year when asked to complete a consent form.
“This policy is put in place because we want to do our best to help kids,” Bushong said.
According to Bushong, this is not a new policy. In fact, it has been in place for more than ten years.
Dickerson and Lawrence said they don’t have a problem with their son being tested.
On their consent form, Dickerson and Lawrence checked all the boxes but instead of signing the bottom, they left a note requesting officials to contact parents before proceeding, they said it’s in the best interest of her son who has autism.
“He has a disability that affects his communication and I need to be able to discuss these things with him,” Lawrence said. “It’s more so more of a learning thing for our son because of the communication he needs to understand in a workplace, in a school, in a college he does have the right to say yes or no.”
“If we had ever come across a real problem and had seen a real problem we would’ve done something but we never sensed that, we never felt that,” Bushong said.
Dickerson said her hope was to receive an apology from the principal as well as work out a solution for the future but that hasn’t happened.
However, Bushong said neither parents reached out to him after their meeting with the principal.
Lawrence and Dickerson said they filed a police report and reported the district to the TEA but say neither has been effective.
Their goal, they said, is to ensure that kids and parents are aware of their rights.