cannabisnews.com: Supreme Court Allows Drug Tests For New Teachers





Supreme Court Allows Drug Tests For New Teachers
Posted by FoM on October 04, 1999 at 09:26:22 PT
Reuters
Source: Fox News
WASHINGTONThe U.S. Supreme Court Monday allowed mandatory drug tests for prospective teachers, rejecting the argument that the tests violate constitutional privacy rights. 
The high court without any comment or dissent let stand a ruling that allowed the Knox County Board of Education in Tennessee to require that teachers take drug tests because they hold "safety-sensitive'' positions. The program had been challenged by a group representing professional employees in the school system on the grounds that it violated their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of evidence. The program requires that persons applying to become teachers must take a urine drug test after they are offered a position, but before their employment begins. The rule also covers transfers and promotions within the system. Among those designated as having "safety-sensitive'' positions required to take the drug tests were principals, assistant principals, teachers, teacher's aides, substitute teachers, secretaries and bus drivers. The Supreme Court case focused only on teachers. The county employs 3,200 teachers in its elementary, middle and high schools. A federal judge initially struck down the policy as unconstitutional. But a U.S. appeals court reversed the ruling, declaring that "common sense and experience with life'' and "intuitive understanding'' were enough to hold that teacher drug tests were essential to ensure "the safety and welfare of the children.'' In appealing to the Supreme Court, lawyers for the teachers argued that a specific evidentiary showing was needed to justify the drug tests. They said there was no evidence to indicate a problem of drug use among the school system's teachers or that drug use had ever impaired a teacher's performance of school duties. The lawyers also said the school district had failed to show that tests based on individualized suspicion of drug use would be ineffective in identifying a teacher whose abilities might be affected by drug use. They said the program failed to strike the proper balance between governmental interests and privacy concerns. But the board of education defended the drug tests of all new teachers, saying their profession was highly regulated and they have a responsibility to protect students from harm and to secure order in the schools. "The Knox County public schools have a legitimate governmental interest in employing drug-free teachers,'' the lawyer representing the board told the Supreme Court. The last time the Supreme Court ruled on drug tests in schools was in 1995, when it upheld tests of students who take part in athletic programs. 10.46 a.m. ET (1452 GMT) October 4, 1999 Reuters Ltd. Cannabis News Drug Testing Articles:http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/list/drug_testing.shtml
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Comment #3 posted by Alexandre Oeming on April 03, 2000 at 09:35:55 PT:
Re: Safety
>Get real, Alexandre. Teachers are responsible for educating our kids, for maintaining discipline, and for responding to classroom emergencies.Sure are. How, exactly, does a drug test help with any of this? If a drug user is indistingishable from a non-user on the outside, what is a drug test doing to help protect the kids, exactly? That's right ... nothing. Come to think of it, maybe you'd like to submit to a drug test as a parent b/c you are responsible for all three of the things you listed above as such. Would you have a problem with peeing in a cup on demand to prove you're not? Well?>Somehow I think flying chalk would be the least of our worries with a teacher who was high or otherwise affected by drugs.Perhaps. Again, how does a drug test help prevent them from being high?>If my small son was choking on an eraser, I don't think I'd be real happy if the teacher was giggling at the colors my son's face was turning as he asphyxiated.Well, since psychedelics have a detectable time table of about three days from injestion, your precious drug test isn't going to amount to jack wrt protecting your little one. You obviously have less than no idea as to the real effects wrt drug testing and what they're supposed to be doing, so why not go educate yourself before you spout again, hmmmm?Out.
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Comment #2 posted by A parent on October 07, 1999 at 06:14:42 PT
Safety
Get real, Alexandre. Teachers are responsible for educating our kids, for maintaining discipline, and for responding to classroom emergencies. Somehow I think flying chalk would be the least of our worries with a teacher who was high or otherwise affected by drugs. If my small son was choking on an eraser, I don't think I'd be real happy if the teacher was giggling at the colors my son's face was turning as he asphyxiated. 
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Comment #1 posted by Alexandre Oeming on October 04, 1999 at 15:04:12 PT:
Dumbing down
And people wonder why our school systems suck so badly. "Safety-sensitive" for *teachers*?!? Better watch out for that chalk flying into some poor kid's eye from the hand of a strung-out teacher! Yea, whatever...
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