BEATRICE – With plans in place, both Beatrice and Fairbury are on their way to implementing random drug testing policies for students that participate in extra-curricular activities. For NCN 21 area teams, they are some of the first to do so.
Fairbury held a public hearing to hear input from the community on a proposed draft of the drug testing policy earlier this week. The testing would impact all extracurricular activity participants in grades 7-12 to submit to drug testing. Jeffs Athletic Director Derek Anderson said that the goal is to have something in place for the upcoming fall sports season.
Beatrice will have the third reading of their policy at this upcoming Monday’s school board meeting. According to Orangemen Athletic Director Neal Randel, if it passes on Monday, it will begin this fall.
Diller-Odell first began talking about random drug testing in their January school board meeting. Superintendent Mike Meyerle also helped create a change in the school’s drug policy. Students are now held accountable for and drug related consequences, year-round. Originally, students in activities would only face discipline from the beginning of fall sports until the end of state track. That change passed in April.
Meyerle presented a random drug testing policy to the board, and it was passed unanimously in June. The testing will begin this school year.
The meeting minutes state, “The Board seeks to deter the use of illegal and prohibited drugs among students. Any student in grades 7-12 who participates in activities will be subject to random testing. A student who refuses to submit to a drug test authorized under this policy, or fails or refuses to comply with any other provision of this policy, shall not be eligible to participate in any activities covered under this policy including all meetings, practices, performances and competitions for the remainder of the school year.”
The only other school in the Southeast Nebraska area that has drug testing is Plattsmouth. They have had it in place for four years now, and it is a random hair follicle test. Blue Devils Athletic Director Shaun Brothers tells News Channel Nebraska that “it has gone very well, most are pretty accepting of it. We try to be as proactive as possible, as opposed to reactionary with it.”
News Channel Nebraska reached out to all the schools in their coverage area to see how many schools had a system in place.
These schools currently don’t have a testing policy: Nebraska City, Pawnee City, Falls City, Auburn, Conestoga, Fillmore Central, Southern, Johnson-Brock, Friend, Southern, Meridian, Syracuse, Dorchester, Lourdes Central Catholic, Freeman, Crete, Sterling, Falls City Sacred Heart, Tri County, Milford and Deshler.
While there isn’t an exact number of schools that have drug testing in place because these are not NSAA affiliated tests, it is still not very common throughout the state.
Some concerns that are raised with drug testing students include infringing on their rights.