Public college to impose mandatory drug testing on all students

Campus Reform Reporter
466
Total Shares

A federal court of appeals has cleared the way for a public college in Missouri to become the first in the nation to impose mandatory drug testing on its entire student body.

A federal court is allowing a public college in Missouri to issue mandatory drug tests.

In September of 2011, Linn State Technical College announced its plan to force all students to pay $50 to submit to drug screening within the first 10 days of the semester. Those who failed would have 45 days to rescreen and test negative in order to remain enrolled.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Michael Barrett IV and other students filed a suit against the school — claiming that the rule violated their Fourth Amendment right as Americans to protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

In November, the students won an injunction which halted further testing and barred the school from screening the samples that students had already provided.

But this past January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit lifted the injunction, arguing that the tests were Constitutional due to concerns about public safety.

Senior Judge C. Arlen Beam, who wrote the Eighth Circuit opinion, cited the presence of heavy machinery on LSTC’s campus, which he said could endanger students if operated by impaired individuals.

“Linn State offers several programs and areas of study, many of which require students to work with potentially dangerous heavy equipment, machines, chemicals and electricity,” he wrote.

But an ACLU attorney representing the students in the case, Anthony E. Rothert,  told Campus Reform on Friday that the policy is unconstitutional because LSTC is a public institution and thereby a function of government.

“The Fourth Amendment does not allow the government to search us without having a good reason,” he said. “The key here is that this is a public school, so it really is the government who’s demanding urine samples and testing them.”

Furthermore, Rothert said that the concerns about public safety did not apply because the college had required drug tests for students who interacted with dangerous equipment before it implemented the policy in question. The lawsuit did not object to this, he said, but only to extending this requirement to all students.  

“Even people who were going to be business majors, who the most dangerous equipment they’re going to be around is a calculator, are subjected to the drug test under this policy,” he said.

Rothert attributed the Eighth Circuit's decision to  a misunderstanding, and pledged the ACLU would seek a more specific injunction to stop the screening before it begins.

“There’s no history of any problems,” he said. “In fact, the evidence is that the only drug that’s ever caused any problems on campus is alcohol.  They’re not testing for that, though.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf





LATEST TWEETS

DR. ?
@phi_delenda - 11 hours ago

Student gov't rep removed over opposition to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants http://t.co/QfNxO2u5MV via @campusreform #tolerance

tom schade
@SchadeTom - 13 hours ago

@campusreform @CrystalPrebola He was sleeping when lil ms peacekeeper attacked him.

Libusters
@bob4gov_now - 16 hours ago

University of the South celebrates women with giant golden clitoris sculpture in library http://t.co/jbu6urX6F1 by @campusreform #Libusters

Craig Lee Burket
@CraigLeeBurket - 16 hours ago

@campusreform Let's bring this back. In public, live on CNN and Fox. That might serve to concentrate some minds. http://t.co/hSRf0NnkSP

Craig Lee Burket
@CraigLeeBurket - 16 hours ago

@campusreform Forget the ‘Rolling Stone’ Debacle: At UVA, 38 Reports of Sexual Violence, 0 Expulsions Last Year http://t.co/KIDXEXr2sc

D
@confusedabout - 17 hours ago

@campusreform @Hollyhoo71 There caught between their upbringing and the citadels of liberalism. I image it could be depressing at times.

D
@confusedabout - 17 hours ago

@campusreform @alison_rambles 26% of all physical assaults on campus are women assaulting men. Assault on either gender is wrong.

EmptyHolsterProject
@EmptyHolster - 17 hours ago

.@campusreform @Snow_Mexican I do not see correlation being made in the few paragraphs supplied. My question is: what'sthe USA job plan??!!!