School district to begin random drug testing of students
The Wauneta-Palisade School District will begin random drug tests of high school students next month.
Elementary School Principal Joseph Frecks, who is spearheading the program, emphasized the testing is not being done in response to any problem or event.
“We [passed] the policy before the ‘17-’18 school year that we were able to do random drug testing if we wanted to,” Frecks said. “We’re not naïve to think out kids are perfect, but we’ve had zero students in the seven years I’ve been here” who have been caught using drugs in school.
But “we want to be a deterrent for kids that if they get in that situation, they’ve got a good reason to give a hard no, not to get in that situation.”
The policy covers all students who participate in extracurricular activities — which, in practice, is pretty much all students, Frecks said. Students can refuse to take a test, but those who do will be barred from those activities.
Under the policy, the district can test for any illegal drug, from chewing tobacco to marijuana to hard narcotics. That can be done by breath, saliva, hair or urine testing; the first test, for which no date has been set in March, will be a urine test. There will be no blood tests.
To read the full story, subscribe to the e-edition online or call the Breeze at 308-394-5389 to subscribe to the print edition.