Teacher Fired Over Failed Drug Test, Files Federal Law Suit
“Teachers across school districts all over the US are being unfairly drug tested for marijuana” – Is it a breach of their Fourth Amendment rights? Middle school teacher Christa Casillas says it is.
It ought not surprise us anymore that anyone is fighting for their rights after having to pass a drug test for marijuana to keep their job. But in a new court case, the trial that the Fourth Amendment has been on may finally be over, at least for some public servants, after a local Las Vegas, Nevada middle school teacher, Christa Casillas, filed a law suit after failing her a marijuana drug test.
According to the Huffington Post, “Christa Casillas, a teacher at Cadwallader Middle School, is seeking injunctive relief ordering the School District to change its drug testing regulations, policies and procedures to conform with constitutional Fourth Amendment mandates.”
But that’s not all—according to the suit brought forth by Casillas, the vice principal of the school where she taught called her into the main office and told her to take what she is calling an "invasive drug test" This happened first in 2010, but across the course of 2011—after having her job reinstated, Casillas states that she was randomly drug tested another eight times in less than 12 months—certainly overkill in the estimations of most professionals in her field who may be drug tested randomly once a year or less.
But the claim does not end there. The main issue, it seems, to Casillas, is the fact that the first time she was asked to pass a drug test in 2010, when she requested representation from a union representative, the principal of the school denied her request, and even went as far as to block his office door and have additional staff members call the local authorities to force Casillas to stay put.
After failing this initial drug test in 2010, Casillas was fired. But because of the circumstances surrounding how her sample was collected, Casillas was reinstated, and after she proved she could pass a random drug test eight times over the next year, Casillas is ready to move mountains to change the drug testing policies in the school district where she teaches.
“Having to pass a drug test as part of job security has been under fire for many years, but with more circumstances like the one between Casillas and her school district arising, the stronger the case that such tests actually are a violation of Fourth Amendment rights of public servants.” Only time will tell if this school district changes its drug testing policy—but more and more teachers like Casillas are ready to take action like never before—the ACLU has reported more violations of teachers and students with regard to drug testing in 2012 than ever before.
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