The Fairbury school board approved the addition of nicotine testing in its routine drug testing protocols at a meeting Monday night.
Superintendent Stephen Grizzle, and soon-to-be principal Derek Anderson, had been having discussions with the board on this topic over the past several months.
Anderson cites an “exponential growth” in vaping products, particularly the Juul electronic cigarette, as reasoning for implementing this testing.
“We wanted to have another preventative measure,” Anderson said. “Another way for students to maybe not succumb to peer pressure. Give them another reason to not partake in vaping or smoking, and try to make the school cleaner and safer.”
Testing for nicotine will cost Fairbury Public about an extra $900 per school year, meaning the school is spending about an extra $5 on each drug test to include nicotine.
Anderson said this testing will not affect students who are succumbed to second-hand smoke and do not smoke themselves.
Anderson says there are plans to implement WiFi enabled sensors in bathrooms that can detect smoke or vapor, but the school is still “working out a grant to make that more feasible.”