NORML's News Bulletin - August 24, 2000

NORML's News Bulletin - August 24, 2000
Posted by FoM on August 25, 2000 at 09:18:12 PT
Indiana Court Of Appeals Rules on Random DT
Source: NORML
Indianapolis, IN: On Monday, the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that students cannot be forced to take a drug test in order to play sports, take part in after school activities and park an automobile on campus. The panel of judges in the case based much of their decision on Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana State Constitution which states, " The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized." 
In writing the decision, Justice Patrick D. Sullivan wrote "the purpose of Article 1, Section 11 is to protect the 'areas of life that Hoosiers regard as private'...The framers of the Indiana Constitution intended to protect the people from abuses of police power. We see no reason to depart from requiring individualized suspicion to protect against the abuses associated with blanket suspicionless searches of school children."   "The Indiana test regarding searches and seizures has always been one of reasonableness. When focusing upon the reasonableness of the official behavior in the instant case, we hold that Northwestern School Corporations' policy of conducting suspicionless drug testing of students participating in athletics, extracurricular or co-curricular activity, or those who drive to school is unconstitutional."   The court stated that schools can only drugtest students if there is probable cause to believe the student is using drugs.  The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed suit for Rosa Linke and her younger sister Reena last year after they protested the school's drug testing policy. Both participated in the National Honor Society, the school's prom committee and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.   "Schools put a stipulation on students by saying in order to make yourself the kind of person who can get into college, and get a scholarship, you have to submit to a random drug test," said Rosa Linke, who has since graduated high school and is attending college. "I have the right to take the position that I will not pee in a cup for them."   For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751. To read the ruling visit: Drug Testing Archives: School District Repeals Student Drug Testing Policy:   Easton, MD: On August 16, Talbot County, MD school officials agreed to end student drug testing, settling a lawsuit filed by Easton High School students, parents and the American Civil Liberties Union.   In January, a student told school officials that a group of 18 students attended a party where drugs and alcohol were present. The students were then dragged from their classes and forced to line up on the auditorium stage and submit urine specimens for drug screens. Female students were asked personal and embarrassing questions, such as if they were on birth control pills (which can cause a false positive on some drug screens) in front of their peers. The students were told they would be suspended and possibly expelled if they did not submit to the drug tests.   According to the settlement, the school system must: pay an undisclosed amount in damages and all legal fees to the students, arrange a meeting of school board President Steven Harris, Superintendent J. Sam Meek, students and parents to hear student complaints and to apologize "for any harms the students suffered," remove any mention of drug testing from the students' files and conduct an internal review of the conduct of Meek, the school principal Timothy Thurber, county Health Department drug counselor Sarah Smith and pupil service coordinator Beth Nobbs.   Graham Boyd, who heads the ACLU national drug program said this case may cause other school systems to review policies.   "A majority of schools in this country do not do this kind of drug testing," Boyd said. "In most cases, officials decide it's expensive, ineffective in stopping drug use and subject to these kinds of abuses. But, to my knowledge, this is the first time a school system has admitted wrong, paid damages and dropped the policy."   For more information, please contact Graham Boyd of the ACLU at (203) 787-4188. ACLU Challenge Ends Student Drug Testing in MD New Jersey Students File Suit Against Random Drug Testing:   Newark, NJ: Last Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a lawsuit on behalf of three students in Hunterdon County High School who are challenging the school's random drug testing program. Students at the school who wish to park a car on campus, participate in sports or extra-curricular activities must pass a random drug test.   The school's drug testing policy is set to go into effect on September 8.   J.C. Salyer, an attorney with the ACLU, said the drug testing policy violates student privacy rights under the New Jersey State Constitution and provides no justifiable reason for testing the students.   The three students represented in the lawsuit include a varsity gymnast, a Model United Nations participant and a writer with the school's on-line literary magazine.   For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500. CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives:'s News Bulletin - August 24, 2000 NORML Archives:
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Comment #2 posted by Dan B on August 26, 2000 at 06:44:38 PT:
Great Response, Kapt!
Thank you for your intelligent, insightful response to this article. I was going to reply to it as well, but you summed up everything I wanted to say quite nicely. I really appreciate your comments here.Sincerely,Dan B
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on August 25, 2000 at 12:20:57 PT:
A punch in the gut for the antis
For too long, the antis have engaged in what I call the 'Ooops-upside-the-head' approach to civil liberties. Essentially, this was a common article of faith among certain MPs I knew in the Army; that they would rough up a suspect to show how tough they were, and be able to get away with it by saying the perp 'fell' or 'slipped on a bar of soap'. In short, they will get away with whatever they can, crossing the line of propriety as often as they can without getting caught.But this time they got caught, big time.The drug test was one of the main means of enforcing terror amongst the not-so-obvious toking population. No matter how good your camouflage, the threat of discovery always was held like a cudgel over your head. And to get you used to the yoke of slavery, they had to start you young. In high school. In the days of the original robber barons, the highwaymen used to rob travellers by threatening them and demanding they 'stand and deliver' their valuables. Today, the antis do the same thing to your rights by the simple act of handing you a specimen bottle.But now they've been given a very stinging rap on the knuckles of the hand seeking to squeeze your rights into oblivion. They've taken a major blow in one of the places they can't afford any challenges to their power. It used to be they could pick on kids with impunity; now they'll have to re-think their strategy, and fast. Because now, legal challenges based on the *Constitutionality* for *adults* forced to take such tests will swiftly follow. Because, if it's unConstitutional to do this to a child, what about adults, hmmm?
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