Pubdate: Tue, 24 Apr 2007
Source: Molokai Dispatch, The (HI)
Copyright: 2007 The Molokai Dispatch
Author: Bob Underwood


In her current contract offer to the public school teachers of Hawaii, 
Governor Linda Lingle is requiring that all public school teachers submit 
to random drug testing in exchange for a pay increase.

First of all, there is no epidemic of public school teachers using or 
selling illegal drugs. Period. The thought of any state worker interacting 
with children while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is abhorrent to 
any sane person. The vast majority of public school teachers in Hawaii do 
not use, or promote the sale of, illegal drugs, just as I'm quite sure that 
the majority of state workers, including those in the Hawaii State 
Legislature, do not use, or promote the sale of, illegal drugs. So if we 
assume that there is a small fraction of all state workers using, or 
promoting the sale of, illegal drugs, then why is Gov. Lingle singling out 
Hawaii's public school teachers for mandatory random drug testing?

If the public school teachers of Hawaii ratify the contract as it stands, 
they will gain a temporary monetary reward and in return will give up a 
priceless commodity, their fourth amendment right as guaranteed in the Bill 
of Rights of the U.S. Constitution: 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.

Gov. Lingle's contract offer to the public school teachers of Hawaii is 
typical the Bush/Rove style of conservative Republican politics that she 
endorses. She forces teachers to give up a Constitutional right in exchange 
for a pay increase, and then paints them as un-American protectors of drug 
addicts if they cry fowl. If she really cared about weeding out drug users 
from state jobs, she could easily do so with the processes currently in 
place. But since the media loves scandal, Gov. Lingle is using this teacher 
contract to force teachers to wear the scarlet "D."

At the end of the day, if the contract is ratified, many honest, sober, 
hard working public school teachers in the state of Hawaii will see another 
constitutional right taken away, and the Bush/Rove/Lingle conservatives 
will gain another victory in their quest to dismantle public education and 
weaken organized labor. Teachers Wake Up! Don't Ratify!

Speaking as an individual,

Bob Underwood

Public School Teacher

Molokai, Hawaii
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D