- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - All Wisconsin high school students participating in extracurricular activities would be subject to random drug testing under a proposal from a task force designed to combat heroin use.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, planned to introduce the idea along with others that came out of the anti-heroin group he convened, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/2hNsFpf ).

The proposal would also require random testing for students who park their vehicles on school grounds. It would apply to public and private schools.

Several Wisconsin school districts have implemented similar policies, including schools in Arrowhead, Crivitz and De Pere, said Wisconsin Association of School Boards lobbyist Dan Rossmiller.

But Kleefisch acknowledged at the heroin task force’s last meeting on Tuesday that requiring drug testing at all high schools for anyone in extracurricular activities would likely be “for lack of a better term, a tough pill to swallow” for some.

“But if we’re going to attempt to actually make a difference, we need to know who those using or supplying the heroin at school functions are and this is one way to do that,” Kleefisch said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that randomly drug testing students who are participating in voluntary, competitive activities is legal and does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

About one-third of the Coalition to Combat Heroin committee members are from Oconomowoc, where the School Board approved a policy last year that would require students in middle and high school to consent to random drug testing in order to participate in extracurricular activities.

The policy was championed by district parents whose children died of heroin overdoses.

Rep. Cindi Duchow, R-Delafield, and Sen.-elect LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, said at the committee meeting the bill could have unintended consequences on students’ emotional states.

“I don’t think our kids need to be treated like criminals,” Duchow said.

The cost of Kleefisch’s pending proposal and how it would be paid for is undetermined. His office refused to release a draft of the bill.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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