The proposed policy for drug testing of 6th to 12th grade students who participate in extra-curricular activities in the Cody School District in Wyoming received opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union.

A letter addressed to Cody School District Superintendent Bryan Monteith and board chair Dossie Overfield has been sent by ACLU Executive Director Linda Burt.

The letter, according to the report, discusses two major points: that drug testing can “discourage students from participating in extracurricular activities because they do not wish to be subjected to a presumption of guilt until they prove themselves innocent”; and that because of drug testing, students who may use drugs are less likely to join extracurricular activities.

Burt wrote in the letter: “Testing students can drive away two categories of students, both sober students and those who are inclined to drink alcohol or use drugs.” The letter also stated, “drug testing is ineffective in deterring alcohol and drug use among young people.”

Neither Monteith nor Overfield has received the letter, although Monteith said that comments like these are most welcome. A letter with the goals of the policy, as well as an invitation to send e-mails or attend the June or July board meeting with questions or concerns, was sent to parents in May, and so far, Monteith has received 15 e-mails – 10 of which were positive.

Monteith said: “We’re not going to make any final recommendations from the administration level for another three weeks because we want to make sure everyone who wants to have a comment has a comment… The important thing for us is that we adopt a policy that is legally appropriate and meets the needs of our district.”

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