Pubdate: Wed, 18 Sep 2002
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2002 The Dallas Morning News


LOCKNEY, Texas (AP) - A West Texas school board went back to the drawing 
board, unanimously approving a new drug-testing program for secondary 
students after an earlier policy was declared unconstitutional by a federal 

The Lockney school board voted 6-0 on Tuesday to implement a testing policy 
that applies only to students in grades 7-12 who participate in 
extracurricular activities. The earlier policy mandated testing of all 
secondary students.

"I don't feel like we have a drug problem right now. This is a chance not 
just for athletes but for every kid in this community to say no," Athletic 
Director Joe Robison said in Wednesday's editions of the Lubbock 

The district patterned its policy after one in Oklahoma that was upheld in 
June by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 5-4 vote, the high court agreed to 
allow testing of students who join competitive after-school activities.

In 2000, Lockney approved a mandatory drug testing policy for all secondary 
students. That plan was challenged by parent Larry Tannahill, who refused 
to let his son be tested.

Tannahill and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the rural school 

In 2001, U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings ruled the district's policy 
violated the constitutional rights of students and said mandatory testing 
came at "a great price."

The district later dropped its appeal.

Tannahill was out of town Tuesday night, his wife told the 
Avalanche-Journal, and could not be reached for comment on the new policy.

School Superintendent Raymond Lusk said the district staff believes there 
is "a definite need for it, and they encourage it."

If students refuse to participate in the testing program, they will be 
ineligible for sports and other extracurricular activities.

Parents of students who fail a drug test must prove within five days that 
counseling has been arranged. Students also must submit to a second test 
within two weeks.

Lockney, a town of about 2,000 people, is about 43 miles northeast of Lubbock.
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