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Drug tests for school board deemed illegal
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Drug testing members of the Warren County School Board would likely be unconstitutional, according to a legal opinion of an idea floated by one of the board members.
However, according to School attorney Robin Phillips, board members could opt to voluntarily take drug tests if they wished so long as it was not part of a policy requiring such tests.
The idea of drug testing of school board members was floated by member Bill Zechman recently in light of a requirement that all students participating in extracurricular activities must submit themselves to random drug testing. The requirement will begin this coming school year.
Because students are required to do so, Zechman said he would take a test and suggested it would be good if all members of the board followed suit as an example to the students. However, Phillips said such a policy would be illegal under the present law.
“It would amount to an illegal search since there is no law that exists requiring it,” Phillips told the board, noting the school district has no power to require such a policy.
Phillips went on to say even if there were such a policy requiring school board members to take drug tests, there would be no recourse even if the test came back positive.
“There would be no consequence to failing since these are elected officials and there is no way for the board to terminate them,” Phillips said, noting even the field of public opinion could not be brought to bear. “And, the results of such tests are required to be kept confidential so the public could not find out about them anyway.”
While saying there is no legal way to require board members to take drug tests, Phillips said the members are free to voluntarily take tests and make available to the public the results if they see fit.