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Teachers Refuse Drug Tests After Heroin Found In Elementary School

By McCarton Ackerman 02/21/14

All but one teacher refused to submit to testing after heroin and needles were found in the men's bathroom.

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After heroin and other drug paraphernalia were found in the faculty bathroom of a New York elementary school, staff members are now refusing to take drug tests and cooperate with police.

Heroin and needles were found in the men’s faculty bathroom twice within the last two months, which led to an investigation at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg, NY. Security cameras helped narrow down the possible suspects to six teachers and a school aide, but all of them except for one have refused to give urine samples after initially agreeing. The seven non-compliant staff members have also hired lawyers on the advice of their union.

Fallsburg police chief Sammie Williams said he has suspicions about the seven individuals. “If you got nothing to hide, give me some urine,” he said. “Let’s clear the teachers’ names who are taking care of these babies for six or seven hours a day.”

Police questioned the seven individuals for two days and even had their classrooms turned over to substitute teachers on the second day. Attorney Jared Hart, who is representing one of the teachers, objected to the approach towards questioning because students could see police interviewing them. “[My client is] embarrassed, and he's also angry that he has to defend himself," said Hart. "He doesn't feel that he has to be defending himself against something he's not involved in."

Superintendent Ivan Katz confirmed that parents were notified about the incident earlier this week. Although he declined to comment in detail about the investigation, he wrote a letter on the school’s website and said he takes “any allegations of drug use in the school district very, very seriously.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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