Wisconsin Bill Would Require Random Drug Tests For High School Student Activities

Dec 14, 2016

Credit Flickr User Matt Long/CC 2.0

Wisconsin Representative Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, is drafting legislation that would require random drug screening for high school students taking part in extracurricular activities.  

The bill emerged from a committee of lawmakers, educators, law enforcement officials, health care workers, and religious leaders as a way to combat heroin use.  Wisconsin court rulings have been ambiguous on the legality of these tests, but a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling said random testing of students in "voluntary, competitive activities" doesn't violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibitions on unreasonable search and seizure.  

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the Oconomowoc school district implemented this kind of policy for middle and high school students, and the bill has support from parents in the area whose children died of overdoses.  However, some Democratic lawmakers say the law may have unintended consequences on students' emotional states.  The bill also faces opposition from the state ACLU.