Pubdate: Thu, 24 Jan 2002
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2002 Amarillo Globe-News
Contact:  http://amarillonet.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/13

BUSH ADMINISTRATION JOINS FIGHT FOR SCHOOL AUTHORITY

School districts across the nation are getting a helping hand from the Bush 
administration in the war on drugs.

The solicitor general, the administration's advocate before the U.S. 
Supreme Court, has requested to participate in a case that could prove a 
landmark for the authority of school districts to implement and enforce 
rules and regulations that address the welfare of students.

The Supreme Court is scheduled sometime this year to hear a case from 
Tecumseh, Okla., concerning the constitutionality of student drug tests.

The school district is seeking a reversal of a decision by the 10th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals that prohibits random drug tests and the mandatory 
testing of students, not only those participating in extracurricular 
activities. Such drug testing policies have been a major issue in the 
Panhandle.

The Supreme Court upheld school drug testing policies for athletes in 1995, 
but those in opposition to the ruling contend the school district 
overstepped legal and constitutional bounds. Judges will have to determine 
if the supposed constitutional right of students, athletes or not, outweigh 
the welfare of these same students and the responsibility of schools to 
provide a safe learning environment.

It remains to be seen if the inclusion of the solicitor general's office 
will have a significant impact, but from a legal standpoint the support of 
the president and the administration cannot hurt.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens