Lawrence school Superintendent Rick Doll says he sees little chance that local school officials will enact a policy for universal drug testing of students like the one announced last week by Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.
"In my (three and a half) years this has not been discussed, nor is it on our radar screen for the future," Doll said in an email Monday when asked about the policy.
Last week, officials at Rockhurst, a private Catholic school, announced that beginning next fall, they will require all students be tested for drug and alcohol use at least once a year. Principal Greg Harkness told the Kansas City Star that the school wants to help students take a stand against illegal substances and that the new policy is not a response to extraordinary drug or alcohol abuse problems.
The Lawrence school district maintains a "Drug Free Schools" policy that prohibits, "the unlawful manufacturing, sale, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, or controlled substances by students on school premises or at any school activity."
According to the district's Board Policy Manual, students who violate that policy are subject to suspension and are required to undergo drug and alcohol assessment by a licensed mental health practitioner as a condition for being admitted back into school. The district does not pay for that assessment or assume any liability associated with it.
The policy manual also says students and their lockers may be searched whenever there is "reasonable suspicion" that district policies, rules or directives are being violated.
Students may be required to take a breath test whenever administrators observe indicators of alcohol use such as slurred speech, unsteady walking or the smell of alcohol on a student's breath or clothing.
And since 2005, the district has required all students to take an alcohol breath test upon entering school premises for a school-sponsored dance, including proms.