Oak Creek-Franklin School Board approves random drug testing policy

NOW: Oak Creek-Franklin School Board approves random drug testing policy

OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Some Oak Creek High School students will soon be subject to random drug testing. The school board pushed the policy through on Monday.

Any student who participates in extracurricular activities or applies for a parking pass will soon be subject to the random testing for alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. 

The administration says they will work on implementing the plan immediately. 

The Oak Creek-Franklin Superintendent Tim Culver says Oak Creek schools have problems with drugs, just like everyone else. "Drug issues are in the community and therefore drug issues are in the schools. I don't think this community is any different than any other community," said Superintendent Tim Culver.

But parents like Tom Zeise say the tests are invasive and won't actually deter drug use. "I just feel like it's kind of randomly attempting to improve things without having the evidence and an effective way to get there," said Zeise.

No students will be suspended or expelled based solely on test results.

Not all board members voted for the policy. Mark Verhalen says the district doesn't have a drug problem that warrants the $10,000 program.

"We have to make sure we're spending money in the right place because as everybody knows, there are a lot of school districts right now that are having trouble making ends meet," said Mark Verhalen, a school board member.

The money will come from extracurricular fees.

Board member Sheryl Cerniglia says she wants to find out how big the drug problem is at the high schools.

"We have a horrible opioid epidemic right now. I'm a nurse too and what we're hearing from people is that it's starting young," said Cerniglia. 

She also says preventing addiction at an early age is worth the money. "If we can start and have these conversations with kids now, even if it's as young as at middle school and we save one kid, yeah it's worth it."

The school is currently working to find a third party that will administer the tests on school grounds.

The program is slated to begin in July of 2019.

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