Court Issues Restraining Order on Linn State College Drug Testing

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JEFFERSON CITY- The U.S. District Court in Jefferson City issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday for Linn State Technical College's new drug testing policy while a lawsuit is pending according to ACLU attorney Tony Rothert. The mandatory drug screening requires all entering students to take a drug test.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking Linn State to end the testing and return the $50 to student accounts. The $50 is money the technical college uses for the testing program.

"The people challenging this policy are not, at least not all of them, are not concerned about their drug test even. They're not drug users," said Rothert. "They're concerned about protecting their 4th Amendment right to privacy."

In an email to KOMU, Linn State's attorney issued a statement saying,"in the designing of the program, the College made every effort to protect the rights of students by providing for numerous levels of due process and allowing students who objected to the program to request to be excused from testing. None of the students named in the lawsuit objected to participating or sought exclusion from testing."

Rothert said the big issue with the current drug screening is that all freshmen need to be screened. He said it is a violation of the 4th Amendment. He said the school's policy on other drug testing requirements for specific programs including heavy machinery is not the issue.

Linn State's website says, "this program supports the LSTC mission to 'prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning,' by guiding students in the development of safe workplace habits."

"Everyone is very cordial, however there is a difference of opinion on what the 4th Amendment allows," said Rothert.

This is the first year Linn State has implemented this policy.

A list of frequently asked questions about the LSTC drug policy can be found here.