Oak Creek considers randomly drug testing students
Students at Oak Creek High School could soon be randomly drug tested, under a proposal making its way before the school board.
Parents and students would sign a waiver, giving the school permission to perform random testing. If they chose not to give consent, students would not be allowed to park on school property, or participate in extra-curricular activities.
Up to 25 percent of the student body could be tested each year. A computer algorithm would decide who is tested, and when.
The idea drew mixed reaction at a public hearing Thursday night, with some raising concerns over privacy, and trust between faculty and students.
“You’re policing our kids now,” said one father. “I can raise my own kids.”
Similar programs are already in place in other districts, including Muskego and Oconomowoc.
“Our feedback has been positive,” says Oconomowoc Student Services Director Lisa Dawes.
Since they began testing in 2015, more than 500 students have been randomly screened. Dawes says only 7 have resulted in positive tests.
“We see that as a positive result of the deterrent nature of the policy,” says Dawes.
In Oconomowoc, students who test positive for drugs or alcohol are stripped of their parking permits for one term. They’re also suspended for a portion of their extra-curricular “season”, be that of a sport, or activity like theatre or choir.
Punishments in Oak Creek would be similar, raising concern from students like Angelica Cobian.
Cobian plays on the school’s soccer team, and says removing kids from the team for positive tests would only have negative impacts.
“Once you take that away, they’re going down a path of destruction. To stop somebody from having a better and brighter future, that’s absurd.”
A second public input meeting is scheduled for next week.
Students would not be suspended or expelled from school for positive tests.
The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board could vote on the proposal early next year.
If approved, it would begin in the Fall of 2018.