State lawmaker wants more schools to randomly drug test athletes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new senate bill would make Indiana schools create random drug testing policies for student athletes.

It’s been debated in states like Ohio, New Jersey and Alabama. State Sen. Jean Leising is proposing the bill titled Senate Bill 147 this session. Leising wants to keep drugs out of the hands of students.

“I think it’s a good place to start because these folks are the leaders in their schools, in many ways people look up to them,” Leising said.

A 2016 CDC study found 37.5 percent of school districts in the nation already have these policies, but groups like the Indiana Parent Teacher Association say random drug testing violates constitutional rights.

“Why do we want them to submit to something basically what’s an unreasonable search and seizure because there’s no probable cause, there’s no suspicion that that students done something wrong,” Indiana PTA President of Advocacy Carissa Dollar said.

Researchers have gotten mixed results when looking at the effectiveness of testing students. It’s why the American Association of Pediatrics came out against it, recommending schools to instead implement substance abuse services for students struggling with addiction.

Leising says she wants students to be safe.

“Drugs are a huge issue, and I think we have our head in the sand if we don’t recognize that that challenge is out there in all of our counties,” Leising said.

The bill is still in the early stages and has been referred to the committee on education and career development.

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