The Naperville school district outside of Chicago says that they may implement random drug testing for students involved in extracurricular activities.
The athletic director from Naperville called marijuana use "rampant" and said that the district's drug testing efforts would hopefully act as a deterrent and assist parents in the quest to keep kids off of drugs. An assistant superintendent also said that the school's co-curricular code that binds student athletes and others in extracurricular activities has not been effective in persuading kids not to use illegal drugs.
Under the present district rules that govern student athletes, kids who are caught violating the code by using drugs like marijuana are temporarily suspended from their activity and are referred to drug and alcohol counselors. District officials say that they are still considering whether or not there would be legal consequences for the kids if they do introduce drug testing.
This seems like a major detail to have left out of the plan so far, since increased consequences and possible criminal legal liability could scare kids away from seeking help if they are indeed struggling with drugs and alcohol. Criminal consequences could also decrease enrollment in school activities, which would not be good for the long term success of the students.
School officials said that they are still figuring out the legal issues surrounding the administration of random drug testing. As many readers know, the United States Constitution protects citizens from being free from an unreasonable search and seizure, and in some situations drug testing policies can come close to violating that essential right. However, there are specific exceptions for public schools which may apply to this plan.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Naperville weighs drug tests at high schools," Melissa Jenco, April 3, 2013.
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