North Pole High School drug policy spurs lawsuit

Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) A North Pole High School student and his father are suing school staff and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board over a drug-testing policy they say violates U.S. Constitutional rights.

The school gave Anthony Frey an ultimatum the last day of school in May: Take a drug test or face a 90-day expulsion.

In the suit filed Thursday in Fairbanks state court, attorneys for Frey and his father Martin Frey allege that school staff ordered Anthony to submit to a nurse's eye exam after he displayed red eyes on the last day of school.

The results of the test, called a ''rapid eye exam,'' resulted in vice principal Ted Scoles ordering Anthony, a freshman at the time, to provide within 24 hours a urine sample that would be tested for drugs.

Anthony was expelled for the first 90 days of the upcoming school year after his father refused to have his son provide the sample, the suit states. Anthony Frey said his eyes were red not because of drug or alcohol use but because he had stayed up late the night before studying for two final exams.

According to the suit, school district Superintendent Ann Shortt has since reduced the suspension to five days.

However, even that suspension would interfere with the 15-year-old's plan to play football for North Pole this season, according to the lawsuit.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are vice principal Scoles, school nurse Pat Lassell and the school board. The suit seeks compensation from each of the defendants with an exact amount to be determined by a jury during trial as well as a declaration that the district's drug and alcohol policy is unconstitutional.

''The policy remains in force and they can do the same thing to Anthony or any other student in the borough. Martin and Anthony are not willing to let Anthony be disciplined unjustly to save time, money and embarrassment,'' states the news release prepared by attorney Donald Loan, who is representing the Freys along with lawyer Lawrence Reger.

Phone calls to board President Bart LeBon, the district administrative office and the borough attorney's office were not returned to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Friday. The school board has scheduled a closed-door, special meeting on Monday to discuss the case.



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