This week, a college in Missouri broke the law and violated the Fourth Amendment rights of its students. Linn State Technical College became the first public institution of higher learning to implement mandatory drug testing of all new students, as well as those returning from extended leaves of absence.
What a way to welcome back the student body.
Keep in mind that we are talking about college students who have done nothing to arouse suspicion of drug use. In fact, the only thing they are guilty of is enrolling at Linn State. The ironic part is that the school has stated that they don’t believe they have a higher rate of drug use than students at any other college.
No program like this has ever been enacted before in this country. Indeed, courts have only allowed school administrators to drug test students under limited circumstances, all of which have applied to public high school students—not adults attending a public college. And even at the high school level, testing has been restricted to those participating in sports or other extracurricular activities.
Linn State argues that their drug screening program serves as a way to prepare students for the real world of employee drug testing. But administrators have not been able to explain why they can’t accomplish that goal by simply educating their students. I mean after all isn’t that what college is all about?
To add insult to injury, students have to pay for the cost of being drug tested! All new students are being fined an extra $50 to cover the cost of the drug test, for which they will not be reimbursed if the test comes back negative. And if a student tests positive, the college will charge them another $35 for an online drug education program. And if a student is forced to leave because of a drug test and it is past the refund date, their tuition will not be reimbursed. Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?
Americans have a right to privacy, and that includes the students of Linn State. The ACLU is looking for plaintiffs to challenge this illegal practice and we want to hear from you. If you go to Linn State, please join our Facebook group, email or call us at (314) 652-3111.
Unlike Linn State, we are here to protect your rights, not violate them.