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Linn State Technical College: Federal Judge Orders School to Stop Drug Testing Students

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school drug testing image.jpeg
via ssdp.org
Were Linn State drug tests illegal?
Do colleges have a right to mandate all students pass drug tests? The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri has argued that it's an unconstitutional practice -- and it seems a federal judge agrees in the case of one local college.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2011 against Linn State Technical College after the school mandated that all incoming students submit to a new mandatory drug-testing policy. And on Friday, a judge issued an official order, on view below, blocking the college's controversial requirement.

"Today's decision affirms the privacy and personal dignity of hundreds of students who
were forced to supply their college with urine samples before they could take any
classes," Tony Rothert, legal director of ACLU-EM says in a statement.

Will the college continue the fight?

Donald Claycomb, president of Linn State, tells Daily RFT via a spokesman that as of late Friday afternoon, the college has not had an opportunity to consult with its attorneys and was not ready to comment.

But previous court documents and reports show that the college is interested in maintaining some sort of drug screening program, in part because of the technical focus of Linn State, which says industry leaders support this kind of testing. The college is Missouri's only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission and has locations in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.

drug testing 2.jpg
via

Back in 2011, around 500 students were tested, prompting the ACLU to launch a federal lawsuit arguing that this blanket drug screening without reasonable suspicion was illegal.

"Without a compelling need, a search of your bodily fluids is exactly the type of unreasonable search and seizure that the Constitution prevents the government from imposing," Rothert says.

The latest development in this legal battle is a decision from U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey dictating that most of those students cannot have the results of the 2011 drug tests reported to the school. The decision makes an exception for students enrolled in the aviation maintenance, heavy-equipment operations and industrial-electricity programs -- but those who are a part of the roughly 30 other programs, cannot be drug tested at this time.

Continue for more details on the decision and Linn State's defense.


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14 comments
Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson

It is a technical college so people are working with machinery and automotive, they see it as a safety issue like at a job. I believe Ranken does the same thing already to their students.

Meredith Mendola
Meredith Mendola

They are not private institutions if they are state colleges.

Jordan Araiza
Jordan Araiza

I don't know why they would want to do it, but if it is a requirement for enrollment, then the students know that going in. They are free to decide whether to attend the facility or not, based on that knowledge.

Jason Ledet
Jason Ledet

extremely unconstitutional... a huge invasion of privacy.

Kirin Pax
Kirin Pax

I don't think anyone should be drug tested, end of story.

Greg Hahne
Greg Hahne

I dont think ANY school has the right to drug test any student!

Scott Tyler
Scott Tyler

I bet they don't feel the same about testing teachers and administrators. Which makes A LOT more sense.

Clyde Rhoads
Clyde Rhoads

I'm not saying I agree that college students should be drug tested, but I also don't see it being unconstitutional. Colleges are a private institution, and as any private organization, they are allowed to set up standards of conduct.

Robert Winkelmann
Robert Winkelmann

Considering they are being paid to let these students attend their school in the first place seems to be it's the College employees and faculty that should be drug tested, not the students.

Sarah Spaulding
Sarah Spaulding

Colleges would go under. The students PAY to attend. If they are using and don't get to go, the school won't get paid. I understand drug testing for jobs and welfare because you're giving someone money. Why restrict who you take money from? That seems rather stupid and bad business.

Caitlin MDosz
Caitlin MDosz

First of all what a complete waste of money, second I fail to see how that would be effective. Among many other concerns

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

Wow. Craziness. So.... employers drug testing employees is partially acceptable because who wants the guy operating the giant crane to be high on meth? But students??! Employees are getting paid to be there, to provide services for their employer, if an employee is high at work, people can die as a result as in the above example. Whereas, a student is paying the school to be there, and if they wish to imbibe, it's only their grades that suffer (as if pissing away tuition fees to party isn't bad enough). I'm sick & tired of various institutions thinking they have a right to know what I choose to put in my body or not. I also don't think employers should be drug testing employees in non dangerous positions, but rather base their opinion on essential productivity alone, ie, if you aren't meeting your quotas, or constantly late etc. It extends to what people do in their OWN time - is their OWN business. What's next? Is my school or employer going to next tell me what I'm allowed to do behind closed doors? Oh wait, Chic Fil A already does that....

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