High school football coaches have responsibility with young athletes. Are they required to get drug tested either randomly or before they start working?
The rules for drug testing a high school football or otherwise athletics coach vary from district to district. There is no federal law, and in most cases no state law requiring that a coach do a drug test before coaching a team at any level. A coach could, however volunteer for a drug test.
We’ll review known drug testing policies within high schools and also help you gain an understanding of why drug tests are looking for, and why a coach or player would need them.
Do high school football coaches get drug tested?
To answer this question, you are going to want to contact your school or athletics directors office. You could also ask a coach who has been working for a while to see if they were drug tested. We say this because the answer tends to vary based on the district as there are no federal or in most cases state laws requiring that a high school football coach get drug tested before or after hiring.
Your local district may have a policy regarding drug testing – and potentially at random after being hired to prove a coach isn’t using drugs.
What is a drug test for a high school football coach looking for?
In the case of a high school football coach, a drug test is most likely looking for the use of illegal drugs within their urine. Some parents and administrators get nervous when people who are in charge of kids are potentially attempting to lead them while under the influence – they might also be cautious of having a person with access to drugs near their kids. This is an understandable problem while coaching high school students who largely can’t make their own adult decisions yet.
Can drug tests be requested?
Part of the issue here is the law. Most high school football coach contracts don’t include permission to drug test the coach. Asking for a drug test is considered an invasion of privacy, and any disciplinary action taken as the result of a positive test could be grounds for a lawsuit.
Can players be drug tested?
It is possible, though parents and coaches would need a consent form to learn about the results, which are private information. In the case of student athletes, officials might be looking for something different – the use of steroids or human growth hormones in addition to the use of illegal drugs.
Why don’t schools require drug testing?
Aside from privacy concerns and the legal right to do certain drugs in some states, the process isn’t cheap. Already cash strapped schools would have to apply rules evenly and that would require more testing, more often to ensure players or even teachers and coaches aren’t singled out. While we wouldn’t cite the cost of drug testing to you, it isn’t very cheap and the volume required keeps it out of reach. Even the NFL doesn’t require regular drug testing.
How are drug tests usually performed?
The typical, and most cost effective way for employers to drug test employees is to have a lab examine their urine in a cup. Drugs, whether illegal drugs or hormone drugs, tend to stay in the waste products of the human body after use.
Potential exceptions for drug testing high school football coaches
Some school districts can have a rule where a sports coach must also teach at least one class at the school. In some cases, schools also require a teacher to take a drug test before being employed. In these scenarios, a teacher who is also a coach can be asked to do a drug test because they are employed as a teacher as well.
Schools have coaches do teaching as well in part to save on costs of having a separate football coach – and we think that in a lot of cases, a coach can make a good teacher too. It’s hard to say if high schools that require both professions out of a coach are taking football or less seriously.
Can a drug test be refused?
While we aren’t lawyers, a drug test could be refused if the employment contract didn’t include specifics about random or otherwise drug testing. In a school administrative staff and situation, simply asking for a drug test without having guidance on being able to legally to do would cause issues in itself.
Are drug tests requested at a college or professional level?
This is more up to the leagues and NFL than anything else. Players can get random requests for drug tests (they frequently post about them on social media, especially after having a good game despite claims they are random) both to look for illegal drugs and for banned substances. Coaches are less likely to receive these because they wouldn’t have a temptation to take growth hormones.
- In most cases, a high school football coach won’t have to do a drug test – either at random or before they are hired.
- The policy does vary based on the district and whether the school is public or private though.
- Parts of the reasoning why drug tests aren’t required are that drugs are local in some states, there are privacy concerns, and the cost can be significant.