Court Rejects Teacher's Appeal Over Drug Test

Court Rejects Teacher's Appeal Over Drug Test
Posted by FoM on May 15, 2000 at 10:45:17 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: USA Today
A former Georgia high school teacher fired for refusing to take a drug test after police using a drug-sniffing dog found marijuana in her car lost a Supreme Court appeal Monday. The court, without comment, turned away the teacher's argument that the search was unlawful because it was not based on individual suspicion and because officers did not get a warrant before going inside her car. 
Sherry Hearn, a social studies teacher at Windsor Forest High School in Savannah, sued the Chatham County school board after her 1996 firing. In April of that year, the school's campus police officers conducted a random search for drugs, assisted by dog handlers from the county sheriff's department. The officers used the dogs to search classrooms and examine cars in the school's parking lot. A dog indicated it smelled drugs in Hearn's car, which had an open window. Police said they entered the car and found a marijuana cigarette in the ashtray. The teacher said police did not produce the marijuana cigarette and she was not charged with a crime. She contends authorities later received a call saying a student admitted planting the drugs. Hearn was ordered to take a drug test under the school's anti-drug policy. She refused, although she said she passed a test at a commercial lab the next day. Hearn was fired, and the state Board of Education upheld the firing. She sued, saying the search of her car was illegal and that she could not be fired as the result of an unlawful search. Drug-sniffing dogs cannot be used in public school parking lots without individual suspicion, and the police should not have entered her car without a warrant, the lawsuit said. A federal judge and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against her. In the appeal acted on today, Hearn's lawyers said public employees cannot be fired for refusing to take a drug test when the suspicion of drug use was based on unlawfully seized evidence. The school district's lawyers said dogs can be used to sniff cars without violating the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which bans unreasonable searches. They also said a drug dog alert creates enough suspicion to allow police to enter a car. The case is Hearn vs. Savannah Board of Education, 99-1477. Washington (AP) Published: May 15, 2000 Copyright 2000 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives: Read Next 20 Articles:
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Comment #5 posted by Matt on July 20, 2000 at 15:44:43 PT:
Just testing
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on May 16, 2000 at 05:04:39 PT:
A setup? It figures
Mari's comments bear some serious further research. Given what has happened in Los Angelese (and elsewhere for that matter, and over the last 40 years) it wouldn't surprise me if this teacher had been made 'an example' to others not to stand upon their rights under the Constitution. There's one thing the DrugWarriors fear and hate the most, even above their avowed targets the DrugLords, and that's an informed citizen; especially one that is a *vocal* informed citizen, who reminds others of the illegality of warrantless searches.Given that police must rely heavily upon intimidation to perform their activities in relation to the average citizen (a known felon is treated far differently) they simply can't afford to have John Q. Public telling them *publicly* what they are doing is, itself, illegal. Especially if other people are within earshot; they might get 'the wrong idea' and start standing up for their rights, too. Can't have that, now can we?And if it's a *teacher*, it becomes doubly imperative that she be ground down to dust for having the temerity to teach the Constitution is *not* open to interpretation by the friendly policemen. Because if her charges start telling said friendly policeman to put his warrantless search where the sun don't shine, they're really going to have a hard time enforcing these idiot drug laws.
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Comment #3 posted by legalizeit on May 15, 2000 at 21:15:19 PT
such total lunacy
>dogs can be used to sniff cars without violating the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, whichbans unreasonable searches. They also said a drug dog alert creates enough suspicion to allow police to enter a car.Great. So dogs can be used to circumvent the 4th Amendment. Next the cops will be sending in specially trained mice into houses and busting in and searching based on some type of mouse response.It doesn't matter what laws defending our rights are on the books, when "drugs" are involved the courts declare them null and void.The Founding Fathers would be so ashamed if they could see what a mockery the politicians of the 20th century have made of the great system of government they invented.
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Comment #2 posted by Mari on May 15, 2000 at 21:10:16 PT
Is'nt this the teacher that taught the Constitution & objected to the police searches at her school? Didn't this happen after a cop overheard her speaking to a student during a search of student lockers,saying that this kind of behavior was unconstitutional?Isn't it "convienient" that the very next search turns up pot in HER car?? I guess they are just 'protecting the children"from disruptive ideas about liberty or what this country was founded on!We can't have the little robots questioning authority.She must be held as an example to those who speak out.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 15, 2000 at 16:45:12 PT
Seen it again and again
Another life destroyed by these stupid laws.
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