Drug Testing in Public Colleges

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Drug testing in public schools is an issue that the courts have had the main role in regulating. The legislative and executive branches don’t give much direction on this issue, which leaves it up to the courts to decide. The issue of public college drug testing is one that has not received much attention because no public college has implemented a drug testing program for students that were not athletes. Linn State Technical College (LSTC), a small college in rural Missouri, broke this precedent and made headlines this year when it implemented a mandatory drug testing program for all students. The program was implimented to ensure the safety of students that will be working with heavy machinery. With dangerous activities like aircraft maintenance, heavy engine repair and nuclear technology, the students’ safety is at risk if they are using one of the eight drugs tested for (Williams). However, this has caused concern in many that such a widespread drug testing program is an unreasonable invasion of privacy. Specifically, because the college is publicly funded and must uphold the constitution, some argue that it is a violation of the fourth amendment right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures (Salter). Though courts have allowed public school drug testing, blanket suspicionless drug testing at a public college is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment and goes beyond the precedent set by previous drug testing cases. The first reason that blanket drug testing at a public college is unconstitutional is because it violates the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable” search and seizure. It states, “The right of the people ... ... middle of paper ... .../ICS/Drug_Screening.jnz>. Lawler, Jennifer. Drug Testing in Schools: a Pro/con Issue. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2000. Print. Salter, Jim. "Linn State Technical College Drug Tests Halted By Judge." Huffingtonpost.com. The Huffington Post, 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. "Student Drug Testing: Relevant Case Law." ACLU.com. American Civil LIberties Union of Eastern Missouri, 21 Oct. 2002. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. Tannahill v. Lockney Indep. Sch. Dist. United States District Court. 1 Mar. 2001. Print. Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton. Supreme Court. 26 June 1995. Print. Williams, Timothy. "At One College, a Fight Over Required Drug Tests." New York Times 10 Oct. 2011. Print. Mapp v. Ohio. Supreme Court. 19 June 1961. MAPP V. OHIO, 367 U. S. 643 (1961). Web. 10 Dec. 2011. .
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