ACLU, Parents Challenge Drug-Testing Policy 

ACLU, Parents Challenge Drug-Testing Policy 
Posted by FoM on December 18, 1999 at 11:09:40 PT
By David Ammons, The Associated Press
Source: Oregon Live
Wahkiakum High School parents, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued their school district for subjecting student athletes to random "suspicionless" drug testing. The ACLU said it is the first Washington test case challenging urine-testing of students, which it considers an unreasonable search. 
The tiny district, headquartered in Cathlamet along the Columbia River 25 miles west of Longview, adopted a policy this fall that students who want to be on a high school or middle school team must agree to random urine testing for illicit or performance-enhancing drugs. The lawsuit, filed with the Wahkiakum County Superior Court Friday, contends the policy violates the state Constitution's privacy guarantees. In 1985, the state Supreme Court held in a case brought by the ACLU against Renton School District that schools can't search students without suspicion they are breaking a law or school rule. The ACLU also is challenging a City of Seattle policy of drug testing successful applicants for city jobs. "Forcing students to submit their urine to officials is a degrading practice that treats all student athletes as suspects," said Julya Hampton of the ACLU. "The districts' policy is an effort to make a symbolic statement about drugs at the expense of students who simply want to be on sports teams." One of the plaintiffs, Hans York, a deputy sheriff and parent of a Wahakikum High School honor student who plays basketball, called the policy "an unwarranted invasion of privacy." "We want school to teach our children to think critically, not to police them," York said. York and his wife, Katherine, are joined by Dr. Paul Schneider and his wife, Sharon, in bringing the challenge. The ACLU said the policy was adopted without any convincing evidence of a significant drug problem in the district. District Superintendent Bob Garrett was unavailable for comment, but the district's legal counsel, county Prosecutor Fred Johnson, said in an interview that the district policy is on sound legal footing. "I don't guarantee the outcome of the case, but we certainly have good arguments in our favor," he said. He said the district has a drug problem that the school board considers significant and that school officials have a right to protect athletes from drug-affected players and to crack down on performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids. "I don't feel it is an infringement of any students' rights and the board believes it should be making policy for this district, and not the ACLU," the prosecutor said. Johnson said the policy, based on one from the Burlington-Edison District in Skagit County, is similar to an Oregon district's policy that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He conceded, however, that Washington's courts might interpret the state Constitution to give more weight to the privacy question. Still, he likes the odds of convincing the courts that the district has balanced "a relatively limited intrusion of privacy with the interests of the district" to keep out drugs. "Are we going to really be serious about drug-free schools and violence-free schools or just talk about it?" he said. The policy originally applied to all students who want to go out for extracurricular activities, but was later narrowed to athletes, he said. Athletes are required to bring in a signed permission slip from home permitting the tests. So far no athlete has been kept off the teams because of the drug-test requirement, he said. About a dozen athletes have been randomly tested and no one has been removed from the team for flunking, Johnson said. Published: December 18, 19991999 Oregon Live LLCRelated Articles:Little Rise In Drug Tests Seen At Schools - 12/10/99 To Sue Over Student Drug Testing - 8/18/99 
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on December 18, 1999 at 11:23:41 PT
Good arguments?
Ever notice something here? The prohibitionists are quick to point to studies... but never name them. They rely on the testimonies of medical 'experts' ... but those experts remain nameless, or are not really experts in the field at all, but cops or judges. They say they have legally sound arguments... but never articulate them.Remember your history books? This is akin to Joseph McCarthy, saying he had the names of Communists in the State Department. When he was challenged, the number kept changing. The truth was that he was lying. As are the prohibitionists.He was undone when an accounting was demanded, once and for all. And that is also how the prohibitionists will be undone; when enough people demand to see the 'studies'.
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