Paul Jacob

Judge Richard Sanders wrote the majority opinion. It is certainly interesting:

The school district asks us to adopt a “special needs” exception to the warrant requirement to allow random and suspicionless drug testing. But we do not recognize such an exception and hold warrantless random and suspicionless drug testing of student athletes violates the Washington State Constitution.
1 Article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution provides:
No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.

It will disturb many people, caught up in America’s war on drugs. But it does not disturb me.

Just as I would not want some Peeping Tom taking pictures up the skirts of my daughters, I would not want some local school forcing them to urinate into a cup simply to make it easier for school personnel to kick out a few drug abusers.

But then, perhaps that’s why my children don’t go to public school. I have worries about not only the level of incivility in the student population,but the levels of lockstep regimentation enforced by administrators and teachers. (I also prefer my children receive a good education, but that is only tangentially related to the issue at hand. Or is it?)

Many people think random drug testing of children is a great idea, liberties and constitutions be damned. But then, many of those same people seem to think that random sobriety checks on roadways are peachy keen.

Call me crazy, but I prefer freedom. It is demonstrated criminal behavior that should warrant the intrusions of police power. Not mere generalized suspicion.

And let’s be quite frank here: random drug tests are there for only one reason, to inspire a general level of fear, with fear (it is publicly hoped)leading to abstinence from the use of prohibited drugs.

You may fear drugs so much that you want your kids to live like that. I don’t.

I have no problem with bad behavior on a student’s part being punished with expulsion. Indeed, I would insist on such a policy in any school my children were to attend. I would want my children protected. This is the proper way to handle such problems.

But such rationality is not found in most public schools, today. Thugs, sots and the merely stoned remain in classes, day after day, no matter how unproductive they may be, no matter how disruptive.

For some reason, though, the lovers of power keep lurching to policies that diminish the liberties of all rather than attack invasive behavior of the few.

It’s nice to know that, in Washington state, at least, “students do not ‘shed their constitutional rights’ at the schoolhouse door.”

It would be nice were a similar privacy right embedded in every state constitution. . . if for no other reason than common sense:it really does seem like a good idea to prevent Peeping Toms fromsurreptitiously snapping photos, upskirt, of women of any age.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.