Starting this school year at Arrowhead High School in Wisconsin, students in athletics or co-curricular activities had to adjust to a new reality, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: At any time, they could be pulled out of class, walked to a private area of the building, and asked to urinate in a cup. Four years ago, Pewaukee High School began randomly drug testing students in co-curricular activities; since then, the practice has gained traction at local districts.
In one local district, seven students have been expelled for drug use in the last two years. Drug screening became more pervasive after 2002, when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed schools to test both student athletes and those who participate in other extracurricular activities. Drug testing in public schools is considered legal because students have voluntarily signed up for co-curricular activities and, therefore, have given up part of their right to privacy. Pewaukee High School’s John Maltsch said all parents and students sign off on the drug testing policy when they sign up for a co-curricular activity. The testing costs Pewaukee about $3,900 a year. “It’s acted as a deterrent,” he said. “We don’t get a lot of positive tests; maybe once or twice for marijuana in a year.”