Drug-Testing Suit To Move To Next Level 

Drug-Testing Suit To Move To Next Level 
Posted by FoM on December 06, 2000 at 10:52:39 PT
By Ricky George, Globe-News Staff Writer
Source: Amarillo Globe-News
The drug-testing lawsuit against Tulia Independent School District will move to the next judicial level, and the case's repercussions could impact another Panhandle school district lawsuit. The Tulia school board voted Tuesday to appeal a court decision declaring the district's drug-testing policy in violation of the Fourth Amendment.The school board unanimously voted for the appeal during a special meeting at 7:15 a.m. U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson on Thursday ruled in favor of Hollister Gardner and his cousin Molly Gardner, who filed a lawsuit in January 1997 to protest the Tulia ISD's "mandatory, suspicionless" drug-testing policy.
During the meeting, superintendent Mike Vinyard said the district's attorney wanted the school board's authorization before appealing to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Vinyard said he expects Robinson to enjoin the drug-testing program to cease testing.Board member Mike Cothran said Tulia residents he spoke to encouraged the school board to appeal the decision."The only negative I heard was that we didn't go far enough and test everybody," Cothran said after the meeting. "We knew that wouldn't fly."Under the program, anyone in junior high school 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.The school district started its drug-testing policy in January 1997, Globe-News files state.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.The uncle, Dan Gardner, attended the meeting and said he wasn't surprised by the school board's decision to appeal.Attorneys involved in a similar case with the Lockney Independent School District took differing views on Robinson's ruling.In March, a suit was filed by seventh-grader Brady Tannahill and his father, Larry Tannahill, challenging the district's mandatory drug-testing policy, Globe-News files state. Under the policy, students who fail to submit to a drug- and alcohol-screening are subject to punishment, as are those who test positive.Larry Tannahill refused to sign a permission slip in February for his son to take the drug test, files state. The board adopted the policy in November 1999 and started testing in February.Michael Linz, Tannahill's attorney, said he believed that Robinson's ruling could help his case."The global drug testing of all extracurricular students is unconstitutional," Linz said. "Judge Robinson recognized that and likewise (Northern U.S. District) Judge (Sam R.) Cummings will recognize that in the Lockney case."Bob West, an attorney for Lockney ISD, said he read the opinion and thought it wouldn't have any effect on the Lockney case."Certainly, it's not binding," West said. "The judge may be persuaded by this opinion, but Judge Cummings is not bound by this opinion. The judge could rule just the opposite."Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)Author: Ricky George, Globe-News Staff Writer Published: December 6, 2000Copyright: 2000 Amarillo Globe-NewsAddress: P.O. Box 2091, Amarillo, TX 79166Fax: (806) 373-0810Contact: letters amarillonet.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives Articles - Tulia Drug Testing
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Comment #2 posted by defenderoffreeworld on December 07, 2000 at 08:41:44 PT:
what we need....
is strong willed, strong minded people that will not take the government's crap, and will make a stand. by winning a few of these cases, we can set precedents for the future. if the people don't take a stand against the government, then who will. thumbs up for the people that dare confront the government!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 06, 2000 at 11:19:37 PT:
Related Article
At Least We're Talking About These Issues
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