LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Administrators in the Duluth School District are considering random testing of students for drugs.
According to the Associated Press, 64 students have been disciplined for drug related incidents during the 2012 to 2013 school year.
If the idea gains momentum, the district said they'll ask parents and students for input.
La Crosse School District Superintendent Randy Nelson said the district wouldn't consider randomly testing students for drugs.
But they do have procedures in place.
Nelson said if a student is suspended for a drug related infraction and is working to get back into school, the district does reserve the right drug test him or her. But that's only on a case-by-case basis.
La Crosse Schools also have school resource officers. They're police officers who work in the middle and high schools and build trust with students.
That makes them a resource if students are concerned with a friend's behavior or have a problem of their own, according to Nelson.
"These police officers are sometimes likely to see students out of the school as well. They come to events, they come to sporting events. They're connected to students and family in more ways than just what's happening inside of our school," Nelson said.
The SROs can also intervene if a student breaks the law at school.
"Our police are many times aware of the intricacies that are going on, whether it's in a family or whether it's in a community or a neighborhood – and some of the challenges that students are bringing into the school, even before the school day begins," Nelson said.
La Crosse Schools also have a police K9 occasionally come through the school to make sure there are no drugs on the property.
Onalaska School District Superintendent Fran Finco said via phone that Onalaska schools also have police liaisons and periodically K9s help with drug searches in the school and parking lot.
Finco said the staff and even students are taught to recognize "at risk" behaviors, and teachers are aware of signs of drug use.
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