Lockney ISD Changes Policy for Drug Tests 

Lockney ISD Changes Policy for Drug Tests 
Posted by FoM on August 17, 2000 at 07:35:00 PT
Drug Testing Rules Change
Source: Amarillo Globe-News
 The Lockney school board revised its drug-testing policy last month in the wake of a lawsuit that charges the policy violates a Lockney student's Constitutional rights, a lawyer for the school district said Wednesday.Austin attorney Don Henslee said the policy was "fine-tuned" at a regular board meeting to affect only seventh- through 12th-graders because school activities usually start in the sixth grade.
The policy revision also stipulated that students whose parents have not signed a permission slip will be subject only to drug counseling and will not undergo in-school suspension or be barred from extracurricular activities, Henslee said.The revised policy goes into effect for the 2000-2001 school year, Henslee said.Lockney Superintendent Raymond Lusk did not return phone calls by late Wednesday.But Lusk told The Associated Press: "Sometimes you implement a policy and look back at it and say this should have been done this way.""The purpose of this is to settle this (issue) because we have a lot more important things to do as far as the educational process," Lusk told AP. "We want (our students) in school, not sitting in some alternate discipline."Henslee said: "They (school board members) clearly will not get rid of the policy. They've said from day one that they'll fine-tune the policy."The action does not affect pending litigation between the Lockney Independent School District and the American Civil Liberties Union, he said.The ACLU sued the school district in March, charging that sixth-grader Brady Tannahill's Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure was violated by forcing him to take a drug test.Mandatory "suspicionless" testing began in February on Lockney school staff and sixth- through 12th-graders.Tannahill's father, Larry Tannahill, refused to sign the required permission form, citing invasion of privacy and infringement on parental rights.Larry Tannahill said Wednesday that he's wary of the school district's decision."It's totally off the wall," he said. "It's something that really needs to be watched, to see what they do."He said students whose parents already have signed the permission slip will be subject to the same rules enacted in December."The school district still has control over those students," he said.Harvey Madison of Lubbock, an area ACLU representative, said the revisions do little to satisfy ACLU's concerns."The policy is still comprehensive," Madison said. "It still violates Fourth Amendment rights. And it's wrong."Henslee said lawyers from both sides are in the discovery phase of the litigation. Lockney ISD joined a growing number of school districts in the state requiring their students to be tested for drugs and alcohol. Mandatory testing, for the most part, has been limited to students in extracurricular activities.In Tulia, a former student sued the school district, saying its mandatory, suspicionless drug-testing violated his rights. The case is pending in court.Farwell and Perryton school districts test junior high and high school students in extracurricular activities randomly in the school year.Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips has voluntary drug-testing for its students at West Texas High School.Published: August 17, 2000Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)Copyright: 2000 Amarillo Globe-NewsContact: letters Address: P.O. Box 2091, Amarillo, TX 79166Fax: (806) 373-0810Website: Search - Lockney Drug Testing Archives:
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