Should public colleges be allowed to drug test students?
Fri, 16 Sep 2011 01:00:00 GMT —
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Linn State Technical College for mandatory drug testing at the school.
The drug testing is only for first-year students and those who have skipped a semester of school.
KRCG went to Linn Tech Thursday to find out what students think about the drug testing.
Linn State Technical College began drug testing their students this year.
According to their website, it will help provide a safe, healthy and productive environment for everyone at the school.
But the ACLU from Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit Wednesday, saying that the drug screenings violates the fourth amendment.
So they want a judge to stop the school's new practice.
"We only asks for equitable relief. This is not an claim for any kind of damages. We believe their drug testing policy as it's written and has been implemented are unconstitutional, Attorney for ACLU in Easter MO Tony Rothert said. So we want them to stop."
Linn State officials said they weren't caught off guard with the lawsuit.
"I don't know if it was a shock. I think our attorney has prepared us well, and following his advice we are releasing very little information at this time, LSTC Associate Dean of Student Affairs Richard Pemberton said.
Late Wednesday evening lawyers from both sides met and had a conference with a federal judge.
After the conference the judge issued a restraining order that halted the drug screenings.
"The judge has set in motion an injunction that has placed are screening program for illegal substances on hold. So we're in a holding pattern at this time, until we here differently, Pemberton said.
Most of the first year students I spoke with Thursday at Linn State Technical College had mix feelings about the drug tests.
"It invades my privacy. I felt a little uncomfortable about coming here because of it, LSTC First Year Student Aaron Booe said.
"I feel that's it important, because the school invests so much money and time into the equipment that a lot of students are using here. It would be pretty risky to have somebody that's using drugs to be running a heavy piece of equipment that's upwards of $100,000, LSTC First Year Student Willy Naylor said.
The ACLU's lawsuit also asks the college to return the $50 fee the school charges students for the testing program.
A court date has not been set for the hearing about the lawsuit. But the restraining order is still in affect.
So tell us what you think. Do you think a public college should be able to give drug tests to students?