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Oak Creek considers randomly drug testing certain students

School district wants community input first
Posted: 4:24 PM, Nov 29, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-30 03:03:00Z

A local school district is considering a new policy that would allow random drug testing of certain high school students.

The Oak Creek -Franklin School District says the policy would affect students in after school activities, or who park on campus.

Superintendent Tim Culver told TODAY'S TMJ4 that a parent approached the school board in July, asking them to consider a random drug testing policy.

The district has now taken the next step to draft a policy but wants to hear from the community first. They plan to hold two public meetings on the idea.

"If they don’t have anything to hide, they shouldn’t worry about it," said Sally Couillard, whose grandchildren attend Oak Creek High School.

She says she wouldn't have any problem with the school randomly drug testing them.

"I think it’s a good idea, let them know that they better do the straight course and do the right thing," she said.

The policy if approved, would allow the school to randomly test any student involved in athletics, co-curricular activities or who have parking permits with the school.

If a student tests positive, they wouldn't be expelled or suspended but would lose the parking permit and be subjected to other consequences under the athletics code.

"I think it should happen," said Sharon Armstrong, whose grandson attends Oak Creek High School. "I think it shows the students that the school district is serious about it and they should be serious about it."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that randomly drug testing students who participate in voluntary activities is legal and does not violate any rights.

Several area school districts already have similar policies in place. Pewaukee School District was one of the first in the state and says they currently test about 13 students a month.

Superintendent Mike Cady says they implemented the policy in 2005. He says it's become the norm at their high school and it's created a culture where students have another reason to say no to drugs.

He also said funding for the testing comes out of the district budget but has never been an issue in the past. Right now, Pewaukee's policy only covers students in activities but they are considering expanding the policy to include parking permits.

Other local districts who have random drug testing policies include Oconomowoc, Arrowhead and Muskego-Norway.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction says it does not keep track of school districts in the state who have such policies.

The ACLU of Wisconsin does not support theses policies in schools . A spokesperson responded saying the organization opposes it because "it's intrusive and demeaning, because it is ineffective and possibly counterproductive, and because resources spent on testing and punishment would be better spent on prevention and treatment."

The Oak Creek-Franklin School District will hold the first of two public hearings on the idea on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. It will be held in the 9th Grade Center at Oak Creek High School Cafeteria, 8640 S. Howell Ave.

The second meeting will be held at the same time on Dec. 5.