Teachers in Robbinsville, N.C., are awaiting a state appeals court ruling to see if they’ll be required to submit to random tests for drugs and alcohol. USA Today reports that Graham County, N.C., with 1,200 students, is one of a small group of school districts in the nation attempting to establish random drug tests of teachers and other employees. School districts in at least four Kentucky counties do random testing. Teachers in Kanawha County, W.Va., came close to being subjected to such testing, but three days before its Jan. 1 start, a federal court stopped it. The idea is also on hold in Hawaii, awaiting a state board’s ruling.
“It would be in our view a waste of money, because there is no problem that a drug-testing program can address,” said Michael Simpson of the National Education Association. Still, former Graham County, N.C., school board chairman Mitch Colvard saw a worsening local drug problem in his job as a paramedic. “I think when I put my kids in their hands, they lose their rights,” he says. “My rights are more important.”