KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | News

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White House Drug Czar Outlines Drug Strategy

State and national leaders met in Denver to go over the president's new anti-drug strategy.

The plan could actually include drug testing at local schools. This is not a mandate, but the White House drug czar encourages more schools to test students for drug use.

Local high school students take a lot of tests, But not drug tests.
At district 11 schools, drug screenings aren't part of the curriculum.

"We think that poses many questions, privacy questions, questions parents would have perhaps legal ramifications," said district spokesperson Elaine Naleski.

But John Walters, the head of the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, wants that to change.

"We think we're at the cusp of a time when we won't say why should we do it, but why didn't we do it sooner?" Walters said.

And some schools are already taking the lead. A 2002 Supreme Court decision gives districts the right to drug test middle and high school students who participate in competitive extra curricular activities, like choir or football.

"We're seeing school districts nation wide adopt this on a rate of about one district a week now, following press reports," said Walters.

The plan also calls for more advertising and education to encourage teens to live above the influence. Walters says they are winning over more and more teens, citing a drop in drug use among 700 thousand American middle and high school students in the past five years.


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