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TRI In The News

Whitehead: School Needs Lesson on Fourth Amendment

Original Article Available Here

A public school district in Indiana has announced it will drug test students participating in extracurricular activities, a policy that is being criticized by a longtime civil liberties attorney. 

Henryville High School and Borden High School are going to randomly select 10 students each quarter and test them for 10 drugs.

John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute says any type of drug test of a student—swabbing a mouth, drawing blood—is an invasion of privacy.

"It's an invasion of the body," he complains. "It's what our Founding Fathers gave us in our Constitution. They said the government cannot do this."

A public school is operated by the government, he says, which makes school officials agents of the government. So the civil liberties attorney calls this a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment when they test students without probable cause.

"We've moved into a very dangerous territory here," warns Whitehead. "And I would hope these schools would refocus and start teaching the Constitution. What I've found as a constitutional lawyer dealing with young people is most of them don't have any idea what's in the Constitution. We're not teaching it anymore."

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