In a glaring violation of fundamental rights to personal privacy,
The Hawaii State Teachers Association has ratified a new contract that will require its members to undergo random drug and alcohol testing--a requirement unusual for public school teachers--as the price for receiving a 4 percent salary increase each year over the next two years…...
Greg Knudsen, a spokesman for the 181,000-student statewide district, said that even though the department was already working with the union to develop a "reasonable suspicion" drug testing policy, that doesn't imply that officials think drug abuse is a widespread problem among teachers.
If the Department of Education didn’t initiate the testing scheme, then who did? It was
…..Talks opened in June 2006, but there was no movement until April when Gov. Linda Lingle's administration delivered an offer of raises and the nonnegotiable mandate of random drug testing for teachers.
The pay raise will bring teachers up to just above $43,000 a year. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Hawaii, but it’s quite expensive to live there, and people shouldn’t have to sign away their most basic of constitutional rights to make a living wage. With tests around $45 a person,
Some might argue that outside of the expense, the possible trampling of civil rights, and the political pandering, if the tests can help stop drug abuse than it’s worth it. Unfortunately they’ve never been proven to work. Let me state that again. THEY’VE NEVER BEEN PROVEN TO WORK!!! That’s right folks, even the National Academy of Sciences has said that, “Despite beliefs to the contrary, the preventative effects of drug-testing programs have never been adequately demonstrated.” (Under the Influence? Drugs and the American Work Force, 1994)
What can we do to stop this cheap political trick that threatens to undermine the rights of 13,000 teachers? The ACLU is currently recruiting teachers in Hawaii to join a legal challenge aimed at ending this unconstitutional practice. You can learn more at www.aclu.org/TeachersJoinUs . Pass the word on to any teachers you know, or anyone who lives in Hawaii. Teachers can also call toll-free at (888) 9Join-Us or send an email to email@example.com
I’m reminded of Ben Franklin’s quote, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Suspicionless drug testing takes away our liberties, and does absolutely nothing to improve the safety of Hawaiian students. Shame on you, Governor Lingle.
P.S. I’m really hoping that this is just some elaborate lesson designed to get students thinking about what protections the Constitution affords every American.