Drug Testing Yes: Zero Tolerance No 

Drug Testing Yes: Zero Tolerance No 
Posted by FoM on April 30, 2000 at 06:33:57 PT
By Mark Holan, Staff Reporter
Source: Alabama Live
Two other Gulf Shores High students were expelled this year under similar circumstances. One went to an alternative school and later returned to the school, and the other obtained a GED. Other recent episodes at Loxley Elementary School and Citronelle High School involving students caught with either drugs or alcohol have intensified the local debate over zero tolerance policies. 
Critics say the policies demonstrate a lack of common sense and good judgment, unfairly tarnishing otherwise good students for a first mistake. About 60 percent of those surveyed disagreed with Hammock's expulsion, and roughly the same number said such drug-related incidents should be settled on a case-by-case basis. Public Distrust:Nicholls suggested that zero-tolerance policies, like mandatory sentencing laws, are popular because many in the public don't trust officials to apply the rules fairly. "Then we find, conversely, that the inflexible application results in injustice," he said. "We can't have our cake and eat it, too." Rules in Baldwin and Mobile do allow some flexibility over whether students are suspended or expelled. Officials also must meet constitutional due process and equal protection requirements, as upheld by a federal judge in the Hammock case. Meanwhile, about three quarters of those surveyed agree students in public and private schools should be subject to random drug testing. Support for drug testing climbs 20 percent higher when it comes to school teachers, principals, bus drivers and administrators. "I think the public wants to make sure the people dealing with their children are themselves drug free, and that's a reasonable expectation," said Bradley Byrne, a state Board of Education member who represents Mobile and Baldwin counties. Now, bus drivers on each side of Mobile Bay are tested for drugs and alcohol. A new proposal in Mobile County could bring pre-employment drug screens to the state's largest district. No such plans are under consideration in Baldwin. Though some officials have suggested the idea, public school students in Mobile and Baldwin are not tested for drugs. The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for drug screening five years ago when it allowed such testing for students involved with extracurricular activities. Today, in Texas, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against a public school system that enacted a mandatory drug screen that includes the suspension of students who refuse to take the test. The ACLU's Alabama office could not be reached for comment Thursday and Friday. Hammock voluntarily took a drug test from a doctor one week after the marijuana was found in her car which showed she had no illegal substances in her system, according to court records. Her mother, Jude Hammock, said that she personally had tested her daughter on the day the incident happened and again two days later. The test by the doctor was the third test Hammock passed, Jude Hammock said. But school officials said the issue was possession - not use - of the drug. Drug Policies: Alabama's 128 public school districts are required to have written anti-drug policies, and most have adopted "zero-tolerance" rules, officials said. "We try to leave flexibility of these policies to the local boards," Byrne said. "They need to apply them and decide what is best." This fall, McGill-Toolen High School will begin testing students and faculty members. Similar policies are under more consideration at other private schools in the area. The Mobile Register-USA survey of 408 adults reflected the relative population of Mobile and Baldwin counties, but made no distinction whether those who answered have school-age children. Nicholls put the margin of error of the poll at plus or minus 5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the results are within 5 percentage points of the results that would have been obtained from a survey of the entire population of Mobile and Baldwin counties. Published: April 30, 2000 2000 Mobile Register.CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives & Zero Tolerance Articles:
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on April 30, 2000 at 13:22:26 PT
America, Land of drug-free but UNFREE!
What wrong with these adults??We are so busy taking piss tests that we are not teaching these kids anything! I do not see how America can afford this anymore.These drug raids are destorying these kids. How could they possibly learn something other than fear and hate?Oh, America the land of Drug-free but UnFree!Today's 4th Amendment=You have no reasonable right to the seizures committed by US.Govt. US Govt. can   any time invade your property without warrants or evidence. US Govt. wants to govern the people without Justice and Peace.Why pretend we have US Consitution if we are not willing to defend it with blood if we have to? Sadly, we may have to do just that one day if we do not make the change today!
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Comment #1 posted by legalizeit on April 30, 2000 at 09:54:27 PT
what message are kids getting?
I wonder what kids must think when all this B.S. goes down. I think the message is clear: We don't trust you now, and we never will trust you. Everything you do all your life will be scrutinized. Get a job - have to piss in the bottle first. Go to school - piss in the bottle. Work in a "sensitive" job - piss in the bottle at random.Is there a 4th Amendment anymore? If there is it sure doesn't mean anything.I wonder how many of these hypocritical bureaucrat types that enact this tripe would test clean if THEY were required to piss in a bottle.
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