College makes drug tests mandatory - Macleans.ca

College makes drug tests mandatory

Students fight back with class-action lawsuit

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Photo courtesy of JosephAdams on Flickr

An American college, Linn State Technical in Missouri, implemented a mandatory drug testing program this month, claiming to be the first college in the U.S. to sample students’ urine.

“Drug screening is becoming an increasingly important part of the world of work,” the school wrote in a statement. If students refuse to urinate in a cup, they face possible expulsions.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday alleging the school has violated its students’ constitutional rights. Also on Wednesday, a Missouri federal judge granted the ACLU’s request for a restraining order to stop the school from analysing the urine specimens it collected or releasing any of the test results, an ACLU spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

“Linn State Technical College…. has had no documented drug problems over the course of its 50-year history and no reason to suspect that the students subject to testing have been engaged in the use or abuse of illegal drugs,” says the statement of claim filed by the ACLU. “The mandatory, suspicionless drug testing required under the College’s new policy is a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Ordinarily, the Fourth Amendment prohibits such searches…”

Kent Brown, a lawyer representing the college told the Wall Street Journal: “Linn State Technical College takes seriously its responsibility to deliver quality technical education to Missouri students while exploring every available avenue to protect and prepare those students to compete effectively in occupations where pre-employment drug testing is quickly becoming the norm.”