Wis. lawmaker wants drug testing for students in extracurriculars

December 14, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A Wisconsin lawmaker plans to propose legislation that would require random drug testing for students who participate in extracurricular activities.

football-fortAccording to the Wisconsin State Journal, Rep. Joel Kleefisch is drafting a bill that he expects to introduce during the next legislative session. It would require that all public and private schools develop policies for randomly drug testing students who participate in all extracurriculars.

That includes athletics. Wisconsin wouldn’t be the first state to implement random drug testing, but it’s unusual for such a policy to be created by the state government. Athletic or activities associations typically establish these types of mandates, and school districts have also taken initiative in testing their own students. That includes some in Wisconsin.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association spokesman Todd Clark said the association has not been contacted about the proposed legislation.

“That is a local district or school decision,” said Clark. “There is no present or imminent consideration of a plan by the association to require random drug testing, which would impose an expensive unfunded mandate that many member schools may struggle to afford.”

He said the WIAA’s position is to educate and raise awareness about drug use.

Texas lawmakers approved a drug testing program in 2008 to address steroids in high school sports but it rarely resulted in positive tests. The practice cost the state $9.3 million before it was discontinued in 2015.

In Wisconsin’s case, it appears Kleefisch is more concerned with opioid abuse than performance enhancing drugs. It’s possible Wisconsin’s program could bear more fruit, but from a nationwide standpoint drug testing has largely been a waste of money.

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