Welcome To School

Welcome To School
Posted by FoM on April 17, 2000 at 21:49:45 PT
Please Check Your Constitutional Right at the Door
Source: Time Magazine
A family cries foul when a Texas school district mandates drug tests for every student.When it comes to parent-child relationships, neither side thinks much about kids' constitutional rights. But should expectations change when kids leave the house and head off to school? 
This is not a rhetorical question in many schools across the country, where students are increasingly subjected to ever more intensive invasions of privacy, from drug tests to locker searches. Some parents, perhaps exhausted by the demands of their own lives or simply sympathetic to the rigors of policing the behavior of modern adolescents, have praised educators' inclination to act in loco parentis, while others have resisted the schools' control over once private aspects of their children's lives. Larry Tannahill falls into the latter category. According to a profile in Monday's New York Times, Tannahill, whose 12-year-old son, Brady, attends the local middle school, filed suit against the Lockney, Texas, school district for violating his and his son's Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. School officials aren't looking for guns or knives on Brady: Like every student in Lockney's public middle and high schools, Brady is required to undergo periodic drug tests. Refusal to take the test provokes the same punishment as a positive test result: An in-school three-day suspension. Although a vague 1995 Supreme Court ruling paved the way for testing student athletes for illegal substances, the sweeping Lockney policy could help define the limits of that decision. The problem, as far as Larry Tannahill and many critics of the decision are concerned, is the lack of legal precedent for schools' rights to institute mandatory drug tests. The Court's hazy decision has effectively given school districts carte blanche with regard to student "safety," and many parents have embraced the get-tough policies. For the moment, anyway, Larry Tannahill seems to be fighting a solitary battle. Despite its extreme nature, the Lockney drug policy hasn't elicited nearly as much ire as Tannahill's protest has. Since filing his suit, Tannahill has lost his job as a farm worker (his former employer maintains his dismissal had nothing to do with the case) and has woken up to discover his dog covered in paint, lying amidst threatening notes on his doorstep. Tannahill tells the Times that his goal is simply to protect his son's constitutional rights, but his refusal to abide by the school district policy may have larger ramifications. The case is headed for federal court, and analysts predict it could end up before the Supreme Court  forcing the Justices to elucidate their ambiguous approval of school drug testing. By Jessica ReavesRelated Articles: Newsfile: Drugs Week In The Life Of A High School,3266,32766,00.htmlWeb-Only News:Published: April 18, 2000Copyright  2000 Time Inc. Related Articles & Web Site:ACLU Files Suit Against Lockney ISD Drug-Testing Enters Lockney ISD Drug-Testing Controversy Files Lawsuit Against Lockney Schools Drug Testing Archives: 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #5 posted by \jose on October 30, 2000 at 13:41:38 PT
i like to smoke drugs!-jose
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by \jose on October 30, 2000 at 13:41:23 PT
i like to smoke drugs!-jos
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Us and them on May 11, 2000 at 07:47:54 PT:
Drug testing
Just a short note to let you know: In Dilley, Texas, our schoolboard recently voted to drug test it's teachers. (There's no drug problem amoung our teachers...) Earlier this week, the decision was reversed, due to a unified front of teachers and parents. That's how to fight this battle.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Slarti on April 19, 2000 at 23:39:28 PT
We've screwed ourselves for "freedom"
I'm going to do something interesting and (probably) unexpected in response to this article, and to America's pathetic drug policies in general: I'm NOT going to blame the government. Ah, how nice and simple it would be if our wonderfully fascist government were the ones responsible for this mess we call our society. But no, the problem goes much deeper than that I'm afraid. If it WERE that simple, we could solve the whole darn thing just by overthrowing the  $$holes. That, however, would just be time-consuming and is generally frowned upon [ :( ]. But I, if you'd like to find the source of our problem, I suggest you find your nearest reflective surface (i.e., mirror), and look into it. Yep. Us. We, as they say, the people. Our entire society is based on fear; in exchange for a sense of security (a false one, I might add) we are willing to trade our freedom on an item-for-item basis. Want steel bars on your windows? Gotta let me see what's behind 'em first. Police roadblocks to apprehend the latest tri-state serial killer? Pull YOUR car over too, buddy. Mandatory searches of all potentially dangerous folks taken into custody? Spread 'em.Am I getting through to anyone here? Those of us enlightened to the fact of this mess try desperately to change things through information. The more informed we are, the better we can decide how to live our lives, run things and let them be run. Wonder why this is so difficult? I got news for ya: people don't WANT to be informed. Because when you have the knowledge, you find that you must start making you own descisions. Descisions that lead to consequences and responsibility for one's own actions. It is much, much, MUCH easier to let the government do our thinking for us rather than being involved. 'Cause hey, when something goes awry (as it always will eventually), and the F*ck-up Fairy has to visit SOMEBODY, better that that blame go to someone else, right? Oh, I'll take credit all the live-long day for last week's charity drive that raised X number of dollars for Dyslexic Mulatto Children of Abusive Transexual Alcoholics, but you wanna talk to me about the number of people unjustly imprisoned last year? Why laws, no, that was good ol' Uncle Sam ramming us all with his great big Red White and Blue prosthetic penis wrapped in the tattered remains of the Constituion. Face it: if we want to even BEGIN to solve any of our major problems, people not only have to realize what they are, they've got to willingly own up to them as well. Nobody ever said that was easy, and unfortunately we have several hundred million people in this country who take the easy way out about as often as they draw breath. Tolerance of these problems is just as bad as having set out to cause them yourself.[/Rant]
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by legalizeit on April 18, 2000 at 19:12:20 PT
Here it comes...
mandatory drug testing for every man, woman, preschooler and baby in the U.S. of A.!McBigot and his cohorts have brainwashed the masses so completely that they resort to scare tactics and even animal abuse to heckle the one man with the common sense to protest school drug testing! (If I was him I'd move elsewhere.)Pre-employment drug testing. Probable-cause drug testing. Military drug testing. Welfare-recipient drug testing. Now, school drug testing.How close are we? With all the testing going on it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think of: having to pass a drug test to re-register a vehicle; drug testing before boarding a plane at the airport; drug testing before cashing a check at the bank; drug testing for jaywalking; drug testing at random checkpoints throughout a city! (I can just see a police-car barricade with a row of port-a-potties and a card table with stacks of plastic cups and "chain of custody" forms. That's all it would take.)Next... "All residents of zip code xxxxx, whose names start with A through D, must report to the Freedomville Post Office before 9pm tonight for their monthly drug test!"Pretty soon drug testing will be as commonplace as smog testing for cars now is in urban areas.Just wait, pretty soon they'll have some kind of passive detection system for drugs so you can get jumped by cops at the local mall on suspicion of smoking a joint, just because you walked past a hidden sensor which grabbed a small sample of your breath!When will the madness end??
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: