Magazine article USA TODAY

Mandatory Drug Testing Violates Rights

Magazine article USA TODAY

Mandatory Drug Testing Violates Rights

Article excerpt

Mandatory drug testing for students, teachers, and other school employees contains serious pitfalls. In some cases, it may violate personal rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, maintains Bob Shoop, professor of educational administration, Kansas State University."Courts have ruled that drug tests are a search. A search is a privacy issue, and there has to be a clear reason for the search."

He points out that prospective teachers do not have the same rights to privacy as current employees because school districts' interests lie in maintaining a safe and conducive learning environment. "The Fourth Amendment does not prevent a school from requiring urine, blood, or breath specimens under conditions of pre-employment examination." After the teacher is hired, though, drug testing may be done only if there is reasonable suspicion where there is particularized fact or inference that the employee is under the influence of a chemical substance. …

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