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By Jessica Travis on Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Orlando preparatory school Lake Highland plans to implement mandatory drug testing on all its grade 7 – 12 students in the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. The roughly 1,200 students who range from grade 7 – 12 will be required to take a drug test that test for a vast arrange of substances, ranging from marijuana to pain-killers. If a student is tested positive for an illegal substance, they will be required to seek treatment before returning to school. Although several studies show that student drug testing has a minimal if not non-existing effect on student drug use, Lake Highland school president Warren Hudson is convinced that the mandatory drug testing will give the school a safer, drug-free environment.
Because Lake Highland Preparatory is a private school, it is not required to abide by governmental regulation limiting mandatory drug testing policies. Along with the private school systems discretion to apply drug testing, the Supreme Court has ruled that the public school system is also allowed to implement government-mandated drug testing on its students. The Supreme Court has found that “the protection of children entrusted to the public school system’s care” is a substantial exception that qualifies meriting an exemption from the Fourth Amendment’s warrant and probable cause standard required to administer government-mandated drug testing. Therefore, the public school can freely impose mandatory drug testing. Chandler v. Miller, 520 U.S. 305, 313 (1997).
Along with the public school system being a “substantial exception” that warrants searches without suspicion, the Supreme Court has also ruled that the government can implement mandatory drug testing on people on probation, regardless of the nature of the probationers convicted offense. Currently in the state of Florida, a person who has been sentenced to probation is required take mandatory drug test. Drug testing is a standard condition of probation and a probationer can be required to submit to the testing at random times or on a strict scheduled basis. Failing to take a mandatory drug test, or failing to pass the test, will result in violation of probation and can land the probationer back behind bars.
Although the government can administer mandatory drug tests in certain circumstances, the law often protects against warrantless and suspiciousless drug testing. More recently, Florida Governor
Rick Scott’s effort to impose mandatory drug testing on all Florida citizens who receive welfare benefits was denied after the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found the law unconstitutional. The court held that imposing mandatory drug test upon applicants who share the same constitutional rights as every U.S. citizens would be a violation of unreasonable searches and seizures. After passing the controversial law 2011, Rick Scott’s mandatory drug testing legislation was quickly met with adversity. More specifically, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) promptly filed suit against the legislation on behalf of a Florida welfare applicant who refused to take the test. After a lower court granted the temporary block of Florida’s new law, a federal appeals court panel upheld the lower court’s finding and determined mandatory drug testing on welfare applicants for Florida citizens to be prejudicial against any citizen who has constitutional rights. Lebron v. Secretary, 710 F. 3d 1202 (11th Cir. 2013).
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FAILED A DRUG TEST WHILE ON PROBATION? I CAN HELP!
Accusations of probation violations have serious consequences, but you are not helpless to their consequences. You can fight back.
Contact the Law Office of Jessica Travis, P.A., in Orlando, Florida, and I can meet with you confidentially, discuss your options and help you limit — or eliminate — any negative consequences of an alleged probation violation.