Tulia School Board Eyes Possible Appeal 

Tulia School Board Eyes Possible Appeal 
Posted by FoM on December 04, 2000 at 07:59:31 PT
By Ricky George, Globe-News Staff Writer 
Source: Amarillo Globe-News 
Tulia school board members will meet Tuesday to decide whether to appeal a court ruling against Tulia Independent School District's drug-testing policy.U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson on Thursday ruled in favor of Hollister Gardner and his cousin Molly Gardner, who filed the suit in January 1997 to protest the Tulia Independent School District's "mandatory, suspicion-less" drug-testing policy. 
Under the program, anyone in junior high or high school desiring to participate in extracurricular activities must submit to random drug testing. Hollister Gardner was a student at Tulia High School when the policy was introduced."This court concludes that the mandatory random, suspicionless drug-testing program for all students participating in extracurricular activities at Tulia ISD is violative of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and that Molly and Colby Gardner ... are entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief," the ruling stated.Superintendent Mike Vinyard said the school board will meet Tuesday to discuss the ruling and decide whether to appeal Robinson's decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. For now, the drug-testing policy is still in place, but Robinson could halt the testing, Vinyard said."I was somewhat surprised that she ruled against us after leaving the program in place for so long," Vinyard said. "She has not issued her judgment yet, but I suspect she will enjoin the program (to cease testing)."The school district started its drug-testing policy in January 1997.Hollister Gardner said Sunday that the ruling could be important to other school districts in the state considering the drug testing of students."I think it's good we won," he said. "It's a good ruling."Hollister Gardner, 21, is a senior at Angelo State University in San Angelo and majoring in sociology and psychology. Hollister Gardner acted as his own attorney during the case and said he learned a lot through the experience."Well, it was kind of weird suing people and then having everyday dealings with the administrators," he said.Hollister Gardner and his father, Gary Gardner, said they expect the school board to appeal. Gary Gardner was a member of the school board at the time the policy was being planned, but he opposed it."We think constitutional-wise, she got it just right," Gary Gardner said of the ruling.Not all of Hollister Gardner's claims were approved by Robinson. The judge denied his request that his grades be raised, according to the ruling. Hollister Gardner asked for the grade increase because he was given failing grades for classes he missed while working on the lawsuit. His absences were unexcused.Robinson said there was no evidence that his absences were treated any differently than absences by other students.In her ruling, Robinson included a second case filed against the school district by Hollister Gardner's aunt and uncle. The case was on behalf of Molly Gardner, a senior, and Colby Gardner, a sophomore."We were very, very pleased and excited," Molly Gardner said Sunday. "It had been so long, we had decided she wasn't going to rule."Robinson heard arguments for the case in Amarillo in August 1999. Attorneys for the school board filed a writ of mandamus in October to force Robinson to make a ruling.Students only discuss the drug testing when the tests are being conducted, Molly Gardner said."I hear people saying 'I hate doing this, I wish we didn't have to do it,"' she said.Morris News Service contributed to this report.Complete Title: Tulia School Board Eyes Possible Appeal Over Drug-Test Ruling Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)Author: Ricky George, Globe-News Staff Writer Published: Monday, December 4, 2000Copyright: 2000 Amarillo Globe-NewsAddress: P.O. Box 2091, Amarillo, TX 79166Fax: (806) 373-0810Contact: letters amarillonet.comWebsite: Articles:Tulia School Loses Fight on Drug Testing Allows Student Challenging Drug Testing Drug Testing Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 04, 2000 at 21:34:22 PT
My 2 cents
We also won't ever go thru Texas again. I have heard one too many horror stories. I feel bad that I feel the way I do and it's nothing against people who live in Texas it's just the laws are so tough. It really is scary.
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Comment #4 posted by freedom fighter on December 04, 2000 at 17:44:15 PT
Oh gosh,
I shall never step my foot in Texas again. Last time I was there around 1983, I was a young hippie and boy, it is not so easy being a hippie in Texas. What helped me out was my old Ford truck! People on road would wave at me and that is how friendly they were when they see me in my Ford truck. Why I would not step my foot again? The storm troopers! Put harnesses on them and maybe I would reconsider my decision not to ever visit Texas. If you have to drive down to Texas, Drive a Ford! :))Thar goes the lone ranger!
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Comment #3 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on December 04, 2000 at 13:41:46 PT
Test 'em all!
  Funny, they test the students, but not the teachers, administrators, or parents... I think we need to push for mandatory drug testing for EVERYBODY, just so the Powers That Be get that warm fuzzy feeling every good American gets when he has to drop his drawers for The Man. Test Bush and Gore! Test the Florida supreme court! Test the prosecuting attorney in Steve Kubby's trial!
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Comment #2 posted by TroutMask on December 04, 2000 at 09:37:32 PT
I'd extend the education to the entire state of Texas, including their (current) governor.
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on December 04, 2000 at 08:10:17 PT:
Tulia is Un-American
This whole town needs an education on civil rights and constitutional law. They cannot evict and jail their black populace or randomly drug test their youth without cause. Anyone want to move there?
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