High Court Told Drug Tests Reasonable for Students

High Court Told Drug Tests Reasonable for Students
Posted by FoM on March 21, 2002 at 14:51:47 PT
By Frank J. Murray, The Washington Times
Source: Washington Times 
A top government lawyer yesterday backed an Oklahoma school district's drug testing of high school pompom squads, chess teams and choirs by telling the Supreme Court it would be constitutional to test all students for drug use.   That assertion — carefully planned in case the question was asked — went far beyond the case before the justices and represented a vastly broadened official view of "reasonableness" in searching high school students.
Deputy Solicitor General Paul D. Clement suggested the entire student body could be tested if a problem is suspected — not just athletes as current rulings permit, or pupils in voluntary extracurricular programs as Oklahoma's Pottawatomie County Board of Education requires.   "We're not saying this is constitutional because it's consensual," he said.   Recalling that urine testing was approved in 1989 for U.S. Customs agents because they face extraordinary temptation on the drug war "front lines" from the supply side, Mr. Clement said, "Children today are on the front lines of the drug problem on the demand side."   The American Civil Liberties Union said Tecumseh High School's random drug testing of students involved in extracurricular activities violates the Constitution's guarantee against unreasonable searches or seizures. It is backing two students who sued the school system.   The court appeared sharply divided over the relative importance of the drug threat versus sacrificed civil liberties.   School board lawyer Linda M. Meoli said Tecumseh's program falls within boundaries the court set in its landmark 1995 Vernonia decision, allowing sports teams to be tested because of injury risks and discipline problems with team members.   "I don't see how you don't lose," Justice David H. Souter told Miss Meoli when he cited official reports before 1998 that found no such problems.   "Were they lying?" he asked, saying only three of 505 students tested positive since then, all athletes.   "The existence of the policy might be expected to deter drug use," observed Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.   "We'll never know, will we?" Justice Souter responded.   Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was troubled by the logic of testing eager and law-abiding students whose extracurricular activities include band and Future Farmers of America — "a group that is less of a problem than the rest of the students who are idle."   Graham A. Boyd, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer from New Haven, Conn., said the line must be drawn at "individualized reasonable suspicion."   "There's nothing about the band or the choir that is dangerous," Mr. Boyd said, recalling that the prospect of death figured in previous drug-screening decisions, drawing a quick retort from Justice Antonin Scalia.   "You think life and death is not at issue in the fight against drugs? ... How about death from an overdose?" Justice Scalia asked.   A congressman seated alone in the front row had no misgivings about suggestions that all students be tested.   "It's the only thing that works. It's the only thing that worked in the military," said John E. Peterson, Pennsylvania Republican and member of the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America. The task force supports a bill to let the government pay for drug tests.   Miss Meoli, of Oklahoma City, said one factor blocking wider testing is the constitutional view that students must attend school so searching as a condition of admission would be involuntary.   "If we could fashion a way to do it, I believe a majority of the school boards would be behind it," she conceded.   In its written brief — whose signers include Mr. Clement and Solicitor General Theodore Olson — the Bush administration asked the court to "leave schools flexibility to adopt reasonable measures, like the policy in this case, to prevent illicit drugs from gaining a stronger hold on their communities, and protect school children from the life-altering perils of drug use."   But it was learned that officials believe schoolwide testing would be defensible before the Supreme Court.   Justice Anthony M. Kennedy argued for giving school boards more latitude in deciding when drug testing is needed and not shutting down testing because few positive results are found.Complete Title: High Court Told Drug Tests Reasonable for All StudentsSource: Washington Times (DC)Author: Frank J. Murray, The Washington TimesPubdate: March 20, 2002Copyright: 2002 News World Communications, Inc.Website: letters washingtontimes.comRelated Articles & Web Site:ACLU High Court Weighs Random Drug Test Court Seems Ready to Extend Testing Testing Policy Debated Before Court
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Comment #15 posted by DdC on March 21, 2002 at 23:08:10 PT
Mind-altering drugs both banned and pushed
Readers Soapbox: Mind-altering drugs both banned and pushed
Keith Hoeller: Our local, state and federal governments are not in fact against Americans using mind-altering drugs at all. Their efforts are aimed at stopping Americans from using certain illegal, mind-altering drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana.* Read the full article at:
America’s New Drug Pushers
The Assassins of Youth: FRCn PDFA/DARE
"F.E. Coco" means fluid extract of coca (the plant that produces cocaine), however the recipe does not go into details as to how this extract was prepared. Another ol Coca-Cola formula in the possession of Frank Robinson's.
Coke Spotlight
Cocaine Toothache Drops
Chemical Manipulation of Consciousness
Total Carbohydrates
Aspartame by Donald Rumsfeld xCEO/Searl
Acesulfame Potassium 
Testing of Additives: A Commentary by Doc Adams and the Womens Temperence League
Heroin with aspirin
Mind Trix
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Comment #14 posted by DdC on March 21, 2002 at 22:22:00 PT
We need grunt workers and prison slave labor!
Where is your patriotic team spirit giving one for the gipper!
The more kids we can keep from school by doctored drug test, especially the upity ones and outspoken ones. The more we won't have to import foreign workers. And the more kicked out of school the more crimes the bigger crime budgets and fear factor and arf arf profit, the Golden Rule...
Next chapter. Pisstest for drivers license, tuition assistance, foodstamps, unemployment tra la la la la la la la la. This will keep us from raising the minimum wage to meet the cost of living, by deterring those with jobs from asking. Drug free pays $19.2 billion a year and hasn't stopped more than 20% a year yet, plus taxes back arf arf. 
Thhey make test to check intoxication without submitting to the embarrassment and poor accuracy of urine testing. The DAREgoon I heard said she test her kids randomly and then if they pass takes them to the mall shopping for polyester jumpsuits made with Iraqi crude oil in the same Burmese sweatshop the flag they're jerking is made...
White Elephant Liberty Sale.
Doonsbury...the difference between conservatives and fascist., Love and Liberty or!
DdCFIT 2000 non-invasive 30-second impairment test. that would take profits from the druggedczar.
ACS - Division of Analytical Chemistry - DAC Awards 
 - John P. Walters 1980***No one should be surprised at the Supremist...
It soitenly ain't the foist time...Can't Find It
Bad Ruling
Atlas Shrugged
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Comment #13 posted by Renerk on March 21, 2002 at 19:31:59 PT:
Are They Ever Gonna Learn?
All that this will accomplish is driving kids away from the one drug that is time proven not to hurt you. All the kids will do is take drugs that won't show up on test or take harsh chemicals to mask there tests. I mean they use the military as an example I've always heard that the military does a lot of shrooms and acid because they don't show up on urine tests. And further more so a kid is a good athlete and has a chance for his abilities to get him somewhere and he screws up one saturday night and is ruined for life. This is just crazy when is the American people gonna wake up and smell the coffee about the "Drug War"
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Comment #12 posted by goneposthole on March 21, 2002 at 19:09:35 PT
This is terrible
It is sick.In Serbia, in the old days, a rapist, once caught, was hung with a rope (presumably a hemp rope) around his chest right in the middle of the village. The victim's family members were allowed to stab the rapist or murderer with a short knife for as long as they wanted to. After they had satisfied their just torture of the perpretrator, the town's people took over. The rapist or murderer was judged harshly, and harsh punishment was what they got. Sexual predators were non-existant for this reason.A cannabis user is demonized beyond ALL REASON, yet we have child molesters networking
to prey upon children. Presumably 'teaching' them; some lesson planning. Driving them to school, so to speak. We cannot detect them until after the fact, and yet the cannabis user is sought out and persecuted from every vantage. The 'authorities' are really on top of the situation.The news we hear each day is sick, it is surreal. People are cuckoo, nuts, la-la, insane, need a trip to the funny farm. They're running 'free'.Gotta have 750 thousand cannabis users arrested every single year, but we can't find pedophiles working in the public school systems.Gotta test kids for drugs, by-der God, plus expose them to every kind of sexual perversion known to man before they are twelve. Something is wrong, and it isn't marijuana.
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Comment #11 posted by Jose Melendez on March 21, 2002 at 19:07:28 PT
death from an overdose? sounds like legal drugs...
"How about death from an overdose?"
Sometimes I ride in jump airplanes (I skydive...) and cars with friends who refuse to wear seatbelts - because they believe there is a chance that they might be trapped in the vehicle after a wreck. Of course that never happens: it is a statistical zero. Similarly, the argument that kids should be tested for drugs because they might overdose is particularly disingenuous because marijuana never killed, yet is the "drug" they are really testing for.
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Comment #10 posted by p4me on March 21, 2002 at 18:58:29 PT
test the teachers
It seems to me that if they want to do drug testing in the schools they should start with teachers. Let's see that happen. And what about testing for the smokers of tobacco? I went out just after the high school let out and the high school kids were down at the little convenience store doing their thing and I saw one kid banging on his cigarette pack to tighten the tobacco. I say lock him up for breaking the law and in six weeks he will have lost the chemical dependency for nicotine.Yea, there is a political agenda behind the drug wars that have nothing to do with drugs. And the government lies on trying to convince the world that they have to hang on to the UN Single Treaty to protect the world from the dreaded marijuana plant. And this just in: Busch is still a *ickhead and liar. 
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Comment #9 posted by qqqq on March 21, 2002 at 18:51:45 PT
4Q,,,with another view from the negative side...
...I like to think that the "we wont take it",still applies to students who are pushed to far,,,but ,,as we know,, schools have become progressively more 'prisonesque' thru the years..........I graduated high school in '74'...There were already sign of things to come in the way the school was run....I'll bet the schools nowdays are oppressive and strange compared to the old days.,,and I think the kids are used to being questioned,and searched,,,going thru a metal detector every morning is just a part of a "normal" the DARE generation,,,drug testing is probably no big deal....These kids have been conditioned to think that the police state is a normal part of life,,and those who refuse to submit,??,,,well...they have ways of dealing with them!....I wonder if this poor girl will now have to undergo a humiliating "test" next Monday?
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Comment #8 posted by Tim Stone on March 21, 2002 at 18:49:17 PT
Beware anyone with a Rage to Punish
A big problem with a case that gets to the Supreme Court is that by the time the case has worked its way through the system to that high level, all real-world issues and questions have been squeezed out and the Supremes are deciding on some narrow, dried-up prune of a legal nit-pick question, with all real-world considerations ruled out-of-bounds. Real-world questions that the Supremes would regard as out-of-bounds are such as the following:How serious is the problem of teen illicit drug use? How many children die in the U.S. each year as a direct result of an illicit drug overdose? Is use of an illicit drug the same thing as having a problem with that illicit drug? Are all illicit drugs the same as far as risk goes? If a minor does use an illicit drug, but no harm is done, should we take extraordinary measures to fix something that ain't broke? What would be the logical result of a Supreme Court decision to ok mass random drug testing in schools? What will be taken away from the present system to pay for the drug tests? Has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis of mass random testing? Will testing cause children to substitute alcohol as a drug of choice? Will mass random testing cause drug dealers to develop all kinds of noxious, highly dangerous drugs that can be marketed to teens on the basis that "They don't test for this."? Will the punitive damage that will follow a positive drug test result cause more damage to the child than any drug did or could have done? Is the Court really interested in the welfare of children, or is it indulging in an authoritarian rage to punish the perceived sin of disobedience, to let the little b*****ds know who's boss, once and for all, Nyaaah?If these questions and other like them were ever mentioned, it was at a lower court level. By the time the Supremes hear the case, you better not mention any of the above questions or Justice Scalia will sort you out real quick:" 'You think life and death is not at issue in the fight against drugs? ... How about death from an overdose?' Justice Scalia asked."Dare ask a real-world question and that's the sort of shut-your-face demogoguery you may expect to encounter.When the Supremes officially green-light mass testing, it'll be interesting to watch the ensuing educational mess, legal swamp and financial boondoglery. This may be a Bridge Too Far for the drug war crazies. 
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Comment #7 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 21, 2002 at 18:48:51 PT
Testing the kiddies
I bet they never bothered to study the impact of this decision. Might as well start using the consitution as toliet paper if they do this.The world is reforming while the US is going backwards; very sad time.
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Comment #6 posted by Shishaldin on March 21, 2002 at 18:39:04 PT
Mike Ruppert (kinda off-topic)
Thanks for the link, mayan. Mike Rupper is a featured guest on that program.Anybody else having problems getting to his site? I couldn't connect to it all day.
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Comment #5 posted by mayan on March 21, 2002 at 18:07:23 PT
Oh Yeah...
Watch the Vision TV take on 9/11.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on March 21, 2002 at 17:27:29 PT
They're Not Gonna' Take It!
Aye-Aye,Kap'n! And If they do rule in favor of testing it will further erode the students' trust in authority. It may be just the thing that opens the kids eyes. Don't mess with the kids...They're not gonna' take it!
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on March 21, 2002 at 17:15:08 PT:
They've really done it this time
Remember a few years back when several children made claims that their day care center personnel were molesting them? Do you think the target group - high school students - are unable to conduct research of their own...and know that to scream "Don't touch me, you perv!" is to start a legal juggernaut that can destroy a school district in no time?I abhor the idea of testing...but the antis just keep pushing and pushing and pushing. When the mother of all lawsuits happens because some perv actually did do something under the rubric of testing, it could be the deciding factor. It'll be too late to help a child that shouldn't have ever been placed in so humiliating a position...but the antis have got to learn, someday.
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on March 21, 2002 at 15:59:47 PT
Perverts will take advantage of this to be sure
Given how pervasive pedophilia has become in the school system, I'd think responsible legally aware adults in the school system would start worrying about the lawsuits that will inevitably result from the inevitable abuses of such an institutionalized invasion of genital privacy of teens by the adults in power over them.
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Comment #1 posted by elfman_420 on March 21, 2002 at 15:13:33 PT
this is bad
I haven't commented on this topic yet, but it upsets me greatly. It seems to me that often times it is the kids who aren't too involved in school activities in the first place who begin using 'drugs' in high school. Though, this isn't true for many, why are we discouraging the kids who in some cases need it most from participating? It could affect what college they get into, or whether they ever go to college. Don't you want them to go to college?There are many successful people who use cannabis regularly. It seems to me that the people who become 'dependent' and have a 'problem' often start because they have other problems in there life. They may feel like outcasts to begin with. They are the ones who need to be encouraged to participate along with everybody else so they can go out and live their life the best way they can.
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