LINCOLN, Neb – The ACLU of Nebraska recently provided legal and policy guidance to the Northwest School Board in Grand Island related to proposed policies about student drug testing. Additionally, the organization has sent open records requests to Adams Central Public Schools, Kenesaw Public Schools and Central City Public Schools to learn more about their policies. The ACLU of Nebraska learned of the existing drug testing practices or proposed drug testing policies through recent media reports.
“Schools do not have a green light to institute random drug testing. The law provides a yellow light indicating that while permissible in some instances schools should proceed cautiously and with appropriate safeguards to protect the constitutional rights and privacy of their students,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad. "The ACLU has recently delivered legal and policy guidance to these schools in order to minimize their risk of violating a student’s rights. Child welfare and educational experts like the National Education Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry do not believe random drug testing is the best way to deal with substance use and substance abuse issues and have noted that policies like this can in fact be counterproductive. One of the best tools for prevention is to encourage more kids—not less—to stay engaged in school and extracurricular activities.”