Ark. Parents Sue to Stop Student Drug Testing

Parents of Arkansas schoolchildren have filed suit in federal court to stop random drug testing of their kids . The testing had been implemented after a vote by the local school board.

[Parent Mr.] Plopper, a journalism professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the administrators and school personnel "who support and maintain suspicionless drug testing are like schoolyard bullies who torment students just because they can. "In this case, however, these people are worse than such bullies because they are educated and should know better than to turn the civil liberties of equal protection and privacy into empty promises."

The complaint alleges that the policy violates the rights of the student plaintiffs under section 29 of the Constitution of Arkansas, as well as the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution.

We hope Mr. Plopper and the other plaintiffs win the suit. Scientific studies show random drug testing is ineffective:

A University of Michigan study of 76,000 students nationwide between 1998 and 2001 concluded that testing appeared futile as a deterrent. For instance, 37% of high school seniors had tried marijuana in schools with drug testing; in schools without drug testing, 36% had tried marijuana. "Randomly testing kids is incredibly ineffective," said Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

This is not just about a small school district in Arkansas. Last week, Bush proposed spending $25 million on student drug testing. At the risk of repeating ourselves, students should not have to shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door.

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