State Lawmaker to Propose Random Drug Testing Mandate for Schools

kleefischState Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) will likely introduce legislation next year when the new legislative session begins mandating all public and private schools randomly drug test students who wish to participate in extra-curricular activities or park vehicles in the school parking lot.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, this proposal is one of a handful emerging from the Coalition to Combat Heroin committee convened by Rep. Kleefisch to seek ways to combat heroin use among teens.  Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Delafield), a member of the committee, expressed concerns about potential trauma to students and placing an unfunded mandate on school districts.  One school administrator also raised concerns about what obligations school districts would have after the test results are in.

The WASB will wait to see an actual draft of the bill before taking a formal position on it, but we certainly share Rep. Duchow’s concerns about an unfunded mandate and think there are several unanswered questions about the proposal as well as unintended consequences.  Already, school boards in several Wisconsin school districts have voluntarily adopted and implemented drug testing policies on their own without a mandate from the state.