Pubdate: Wed, 30 Aug 2000
Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)
Copyright: 2000 The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Author: Jerry Epstein
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Re: "Drug Policy Changed," (A-J, 8-24). Your editorial began, "Because
students make the choice to engage in extracurricular activities, there is
nothing wrong with requiring participants to submit to drug tests."

The U.S. Supreme Court currently agrees.

Fortunately for Indiana citizens, the Indiana Court of Appeals has just
declared unanimously (8-21) that such testing is unconstitutional. Some of
their language follows:

"We may part company with the interpretation of the Supreme Court of the
United States ... "

"The framers of the Indiana Constitution intended to protect the people
from abuses of police power. We see no reason to depart from requiring
individualized suspicion to protect against the abuses associated with
blanket suspicionless searches of school children."

" ... we hold that ... conducting suspicionless drug testing of students
participating in athletics, extracurricular or co-curricular activity, or
those who drive to school, is unconstitutional."

"The school does not propose a direct correlation between drug use and its
need to randomly test the majority of the students for drugs. ... This is
an unmistakable move toward randomly testing all students."

The adage that, those who surrender liberty to gain a little security will
soon have neither, is as old as our nation. I hope the Texas judiciary will
find a similar heightened respect for bedrock constitutional values.

JERRY EPSTEIN, Houston Via e-mail
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MAP posted-by: Eric Ernst