Teacher Takes a Stand Against "Incriminating" Drug Survey | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Teacher Takes a Stand Against "Incriminating" Drug Survey

John Dryden could be penalized for informing students of their 5th Amendment right to skip drug/alcohol questions.


John Dryden is all about students' rights
Photo via

By Victoria Kim


| Share

A high school social studies teacher in Batavia, Illinois could face disciplinary action for informing students of their Fifth Amendment right to skip self-incriminating questions about drug and alcohol use in a school survey. John Dryden first saw the surveys ten minutes before his first class on April 18, and says the questions about drug and alcohol use concerned him, especially after he had recently finished reviewing the Bill of Rights with his classes. "Somebody needs to remind them they have the ability not to incriminate themselves," he recalls thinking at the time. This is the first year Batavia has administered such a survey, which was distributed to help measure how students meet the "social-emotional learning standards" set by the state. It was not a diagnostic tool, but a "screener" to detect which students might need specific help, says Brad Newkirk, the school's chief academic officer. It wasn't made clear to students whether participation was mandatory or optional, but parents had been notified via email that their children could opt out of the survey if the district was given 24-hour advanced notice. The survey results were to be reviewed by school social workers, counselors, and psychologists—but not law enforcement, according to superintendent Jack Barshinger. But Dryden noted that a police officer was stationed at the school the day the tests were given. The school board is set to discuss the matter today. But though Dryden faces having a "letter of remedy" placed on his employment file, he is reportedly not in danger of being terminated. Nearly 5,000 people have signed an online petition asking the school board not to penalize him.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv