Some school districts are considering expanding random drug testing to include nicotine.
Southern Boone School District Superintendent Christopher Felmlee said his school district is in the preliminary stages of discussing adding nicotine to its drug tests.
Per the district’s policy, any student who participates in athletics, extra-curricular activities or parks on school grounds are required to go through random drug testing.
Felmlee said the district currently tests for 12 substances. He said if nicotine testing is implemented, it would likely replace one of the 12 drugs currently being tested.
“These tests aren’t cheap,” said Susan Goldammer with the Missouri School Boards Association.
MSBA consults with several school districts in Missouri when it comes to creating drug-testing policies.
Goldammer said though she is not surprised some school districts are considering nicotine testing, it would be one more cost for the school. She also said this is something many school districts will have to discuss with parents.
“Typically school districts will have to decide are they going to do it, and if so, are they going to do it for what activities?” Goldammer said. “Some districts will keep it just to sports and some districts will include all extra-curricular activities. Some districts even require consent to random drug testing for things like parking passes or attending dances.”
Goldammer said all of this is legal.
According to reports, Fairbury Junior-Senior High School in southeast Nebraska started doing nicotine-based drug tests this year.
Though Goldammer does not speak for all school districts in Missouri, she said she is not aware of MSBA consulting with any school districts on nicotine drug testing at this point.