A federal court judge in Missouri said no to Linn State Technical College this year, who have been trying since 2011 to implement a policy that mandates all students be drug tested. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/judge-blocks-linn-state-drug-testing_n_2937232.html In 2011, Linn State Technical College(LSTC) implemented a policy under which all applicants and some returning students would have to be drug tested and test clean for cocaine, methamphetamines, oxycodone and eight other drugs, such as popular benzodiazapines(anxiety drugs) like Klonopin, Ativan, or Xanax. They implemented the policy and collected samples from over 500 students, until the ACLU filed suit on behalf of some of the schools students. In the lawsuit, the ACLU contended that the policy violates students' Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful searches and seizures. Said Tony Rothert, the ACLU lawyer handling the case: So what would become of a student who tested positive for those drugs, according to Linn Tech policy? 1. Upon mutual agreement, the student would be allowed to remain in school if they agreed to take a repeat drug test 45 days later, and tested clean. 2. Mandatory enrollment in an online drug-prevention course. 3. Mandatory probation for the rest of the semester. 4. An unannounced follow-up test. The obvious problems here are two-fold. While making an argument for cocaine, meth, or marijuana as necessary isn't justifiable, there is an argument to be made for medications such as Ativan, Xanax, or Klonopin for students with chronic anxiety, and Vicodin or Percocet(which is Oxycodone with Tylenol)for students with chronic pain or injuries. The second problem is this: Students who entered the school under one premise, only to have certain policy changed on them half-way through their enrollment. For incoming students, I actually have no problem with this policy, above problem noted aside. Those students should be able, in my opinion, to get a medical exemption. But if a school wants to set known parameters for incoming students, why shouldn't they be allowed to? If the student is made aware, ahead of time, it would be their choice as to whether to attend. But for students already enrolled? It's a dangerous precedent to start drug-testing them in the middle of their tenure there. An important note is this: Courts, both federal and state, have upheld more limited drug testing policies, such as those for athletes participating in NCAA sanctioned sports. But this one is unprecedented, and should be coming to trial soon. My opinion: Why not? If a school wants to prevent future disasters from incoming students regarding certain drugs that have psychological and potentially disastrous effects, such as cocaine and methanphetamines, isn't that in the best interest of the school overall? The school's policy seems reasonable in it's 'punishment' as well. The problem I have is with pain medication and anxiety drugs for students with certain conditions. Those students, at least, should be granted medical exemptions. As for students already in school, that's tough. It's a slippery slope, but are those drugs any students should be using anyway? By principle, I'm against it, but it's reasonable to expect students to not be using dangerous mind and body altering drugs with possibly dangerous repercussions. Should colleges and universities have the right to set drug testing policies for incoming students regarding specific drugs? Should certain students in certain programs, such as handling heavy machinery, be able to be drug tested for safety reasons? If incoming students are subjected to drug-testing policies, should returning students be subjected to the same? Any other thoughts or discussion of this story is welcomed.