(a) A student may be subject to testing for the presence of drugs in the student’s body in accordance with this section and the policy of the LEA if there are reasonable indications to the principal that the student may have used or be under the influence of drugs. The need for testing may be brought to the attention of the principal through a search authorized by § Code Sec. 49-6-4204″>49-6-4204 or § 49-6-4205, observed or reported use of drugs by the student on school property or other reasonable information received from a teacher, staff member or other student. All of the following standards of reasonableness shall be met:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 49-6-4213. Testing of students for drugs -- Referral information -- Student assistance program

  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Drug: means any controlled substance, marijuana, alcohol, legend drug or any other substance the possession or use of which is regulated in any manner by any governmental authority, including the school system. See
  • local board of education: means the board of education that manages and controls the respective local public school system. See
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • principal: means the administrative head of a public school, by whatever title the person may be known. See
  • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • School: means all public schools that conduct classes in any grade from kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). See
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Student: means any person, regardless of age, enrolled in the public school. See
  • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

(1) A particular student has violated school policy;

(2) The test will yield evidence of the violation of school policy or will establish that a student either was impaired due to drug use or did not use drugs;

(3) The test is in pursuit of legitimate interests of the school in maintaining order, discipline, safety, supervision and education of students;

(4) The test is not conducted for the sole purpose of discovering evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution; and

(5) Tests are conducted in the presence of a witness. Persons who act as witnesses shall be designated in the policy of the local board of education.

(b) As used in this section and § 49-6-4203, “drugs” means:

(1) Any scheduled drug as specified in §§ 39-17-405 – 39-17-416; and

(2) Alcohol.

(c) Before a drug testing program is implemented in any LEA, the local board of education in that LEA shall establish policies, procedures and guidelines to implement this section within that LEA. The state board of education shall prepare a model policy, procedure and guidelines that may be adopted by local boards of education.

(d) Tests shall be conducted by properly trained persons in circumstances that ensure the integrity, validity and accuracy of the test results but are minimally intrusive and provide maximum privacy to the tested student. All tests shall be performed by an accredited laboratory. Specimens confirmed as positive shall be retained for at least ten (10) days for possible retesting or reanalysis.

(e) Students shall be advised in writing at the time of their enrollment that they are subject to testing. Notice to each student shall include grounds for testing, the procedures that will be followed and possible penalties. Students shall be advised of their right to refuse to undergo drug testing and the consequences of refusal.

(f) A parent of the student or a person legally responsible for the student shall be notified before any drug test is administered to the student.

(g) The LEA shall pay the cost of any testing required under this section.

(h) In any school where LEA or school policy allows tests provided for by this section, in-service training of principals and teachers will be conducted in signs and symptoms of student drug use and abuse and in the school policy for handling of these students. The department of mental health and developmental disabilities shall cause qualified trainers to be available to the schools to conduct this training.

(i) Test reports from laboratories shall include the specimen number assigned by the submitting LEA, the drug testing laboratory accession number and results of the drug tests. Certified copies of all analytical results shall be available from the laboratory when requested by the LEA or the parents of the student. The laboratory shall not be permitted to provide testing results verbally by telephone.

(j) (1) All specimens testing negative on the initial screening test or negative on the confirmatory test shall be reported as negative.

(2) If a student is tested and the results of the test are negative, all records of the test, request for a test or indication a student has been tested shall be expunged from all records, including school records.

(k) The principal or school counselor of the school in which a student who tests positive in a drug testing program is enrolled shall provide referral information to the student and to the student’s parents or guardian. The information shall include information on inpatient, outpatient and community-based drug and alcohol treatment programs.

(l) The department shall cause a student assistance program to be provided in schools authorizing drug testing of students under subsection (a). At a minimum, this student assistance program shall consist of a qualified student assistance program coordinator who may serve one (1) or more schools where drug testing is allowed. This coordinator shall conduct assessment counseling with any student who tests positive for the presence of drugs or alcohol. Counseling shall include a determination of the severity of the student’s alcohol and drug problem and recommendation for referral to intervention or treatment resources as appropriate. The expansion of these services by the department into additional schools after the initial year shall be subject to availability of funds.

(m) Malicious use of authority granted by this section may be grounds for dismissal of the person so acting.

[Acts 1988, ch. 940, § 1; 1999, ch. 367, § 5; 2000, ch. 947, § 6.]