Random drug testing in the public schools

>> Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I just found out yesterday, that my daughter, Heather, was subject to a mandatory random drug test at school the other day. At the beginning of the school year I had to sign permission for Heather to be randomly tested in order for her to be able to participate in the Pioneer Chorale. I did so, but only under protest because I felt it was a violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which governs unwarranted search of person or property without probable cause. When I found out that they tested her on Monday, I was pissed, and even though I had signed the permission slip, (I had to or Heather couldn't be in the Chorale), I decided that I was going to lodge a larger protest than the one I made when I signed the slip. The following is a letter that I typed to Heather's principal and to the director of the Chorale:

Dear Mr. ******,

My name is Lynette ***** and my daughter, Heather ******, is a senior at Stillwater High School. My purpose in writing this letter to you is to register my protest of Heather's recently being subject to a random drug test, which I believe to be in clear violation of Heather's 4th Amendment Constitutional rights. I understand that in order for Heather to participate in the Pioneer Chorale that I had to sign permission authorizing the school to test her, which I did under protest. As a citizen of this nation, state, and community I feel that it is not only my right, but my obligation to protest an action by an agency of those governments that are sworn to honor and uphold my Constitutional rights.

Enclosed you will find two articles which support my protest, and outline in a very clear and concise manner the opinions that I share with the authors on the subject of random drug testing and why it is not only ineffective in deterring drug use among children, but is also a violation of our children's Constitutional rights. I ask and encourage you to read them and take them into consideration.

K. Lynette *****

Below you will find Links to the articles mentioned in my letter:

School Drug Testing Violates Rights

Blowing Smoke: Why Random Drug Testing Doesn't Reduce Student Drug Use

My daughter is an outstanding student and citizen with absolutely no record as a trouble-maker at school or a police record. She has given no "probable cause" to have her person searched, nor was there a warrant issued. Is this not clearly a violation of her 4th Amendment rights?

This is scary stuff, folks.


JPDeni February 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynette February 28, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

While I feel that what has happened to Jim is unfair and unecessary, it doesn't violate his Constitutional rights under the 4th Amendment because he works for a private company. However, the Public Schools are a government agency and therefore the 4th Amendment applies.

I just did a little more research on this and found out that random drug testing in the public schools is a part of Bush's educational program, "No Child Left Behind". Each individual school district has the right to opt out of it, but if they do, they lose Federal Funding. In other words, they were blackmailed into participating, just as I was blackmailed into signing away my daughter's Constitutional rights in order for her to participate in a school sponsored activity. That is extortion, and extortion is against the law.

I'm in the process of taking this as far as I can, which will probably mean that I will have to organize a class action lawsuit against the Stillwater Public Schools. But seeing that this issue goes all the way back to the Feds, I may have to join an exsisting suit. I know that there is a big bruhaha going on in Oklahoma City against the OKC Public Schools over this very issue. I'm going to keep an eye on it and see where that goes.

In the meantime I'm going to do what I can to raise public awareness in Stillwater on this issue and see if I can't find some other parents who are as concerned over this as I am. It's not so much about the issue of drug testing as it is about the Federal Government's blatant violation of our 4th Amendment rights.

Kathy Handyside February 28, 2008 at 11:51 AM  

Well said, Nettl. I couldn't agree with you more. Bush and the Republicans have done so much damage to this country that it frightens me.



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