Column: Random drug tests gain speed in Nebraska high schools

Macy Svoboda, Co-Editor

Over 40 high schools in Nebraska have recently implemented a random drug testing policy over the past few years due to the recommendations of the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA). Some of those near the David City area include Schuyler and Columbus. This year, Fairbury became the first school in our conference to start the testing. This makes me wonder, does our school need these tests?

I believe having random drug testing shouldn’t hurt anyone. Drugs are illegal, and something people, especially high school students, shouldn’t be doing. Students shouldn’t have to worry about this kind of test when they shouldn’t be on drugs in the first place.

In addition, if drug use in our school and community is a concern, this might just be a way to resolve the problem.

Personally, I think it [drug tests] would give students the peace of mind that their fellow teammates were not using drugs,” Superintendent Chad Denker said. “It would also give students who feel peer pressure to experiment with drugs a valid argument or reason to say no.”

Every year during parent/teacher conferences, DCHS Principal Cortney Couch has the parents take a survey. Couch added a few questions this year regarding thoughts over drug testing. About 75% of the parents and guardians who took the survey thought the testing could be a way to prevent drug use.

I wouldn’t be afraid of being tested, and I think other students, whether they participate in sports or not, should also be okay with taking a drug test, considering they are illegal from the start,” junior Ashley Roemmich said.

If the school decides to do the testing, they would have to figure out who would administer the testing. Couch said most schools are having outside agencies conduct the testing to ensure it is random and not bias from the school.

“We haven’t contacted any outside agencies to help us yet because we haven’t decided whether or not we’re going to implement testing,” Couch said. “However, we have had some people contact us. For example, the Columbus Community Hospital has reached out to us asking us if we’d like them to do random drug testing for our students.”

Deciding to have random drug tests is a big decision. Many people may wonder why DCHS needs to do testing like that, but it can also be beneficial for student-athletes and others in that it will give them yet another reason not to experiment with drugs.