The Michigan Daily - Tuesday. October 5, 1999 -7
Supreme Court refuses to halt teacher drug tests
os Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court
leard the way yesterday for mandatory drug
esting for school teachers, rejecting a constitu-
ional challenge that called the program "an
xercise in symbolism."
e justices turned down an appeal filed by
h ational Education Association, the largest
eachers' union, which argued that educators
'hould not be forced to undergo urine testing
nless there is evidence of a drug problem on the
The court's action in the school case came on
he opening day of its new term. It also refused
o strike down a state tax credit for contributions
o private and parochial schools and heard argu-
ents in a death penalty case.
The day was highlighted by the return of
I ce Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had
an ergone surgery for colon cancer a little
more than two weeks ago. But at 10 a.m.
yesterday, she emerged with her fellow jus-
tices and smiled broadly before the assem-
And despite her ordeal, Ginsburg seemed
in midseason form. She asked a dozen
questions during the first hour of argu-
More than 1,600 appeals were turned down,
most of them from prison inmates.
Several of them tested areas where the law is
in flux, including government-mandated drug
A decade ago, the high court first upheld
forced urine testing in cases involving train
engineers and gun-carrying federal agents.
These workers would pose a safety risk to
the public if they were under the influence
of drugs, the court decided. Therefore,
mandatory testing was not an "unreason-
able search" prohibited by the Fourth
Amendment, the justices held on a 5-4
But recently lower courts have extended
the "safety" rationale to include, for exam-
ple, white-collar budget analysts in
Washington, and now school teachers.
School board members in Knox County,
Tenn., said that they had no evidence of drug use
among their teachers but wanted to take a "firm
stand" against drugs.
In 1994, the board voted to require urine
screening for all new teachers. In addition,
school employees who showed signs of impair-
ment also could be forced to submit to a test.
However, a federal judge blocked the policy
from taking effect. Public safety was not at
stake, the judge said.
But last year, a U.S. appeals court over-
turned that decision and allowed school offi-
"We are the case that everyone has been
cials to implement a test ing program. "The
public interest (in a drug-tie school staff)
clearly outweighs th e ptivaCy ii t e re st of the
teacher not to be tested." the appeals court
Richard T. Beeler, a school board lawyer
in Knoxville, said that he expects other dis-
tricts to copy the policy now that it has been
cleared by the high court Knox County
Education Association us. Knox County
Board of Education.
"We are the case that everyone has been
- Richard Beeler
Knoxville school board lawyer
watching," he said. In the first year, 10
applicants for teaching jobs were rejected
because they tested positive for an illegal
substance. "If they are that stupid, we don't
want them teaching in our schools," he
The NEA's general counsel, Robert Chanin,
said that he feared other districts would see the
court's action "as a green light to go ahead with
drug testing. In our view, itis a real stretch of the
imagination to say teachers are like the guys
Philip Morris protests USC research
LOS ANGELES - Mobilizing against smoking
tans and lawsuits that could cost them billions, tobac-
:mpanies are engaged in a far-reaching campaign
o discredit evidence that secondhand smoke is harm-
ul to human health.
Nowhere is the strategy more evident than in a legal
attle over the evidence that has occupied at least 10
ourts, including U.S. District Court in Los Angeles,
here it appears likely to be resolved in the industry's
In the latest phase of the discovery battle, Philip
lorris is fighting University of Southern California
esearchers to get access to a single computer disk
containing raw data from an influential five-city
study, known as the Fontham study, that found a
causal link between lung cancer and secondhand
The company wants to scrutinize the data in hopes
of casting doubt on the evidence, which is weaker for
second-hand smoke than for some other environmen-
Fontham and similar studies have provided the
scientific bedrock for a small but growing wave
of secondhand smoke litigation that the industry
aims to head off. At the same time, cigarette mak-
ers are determined to slow the spread of
California-style smoking bans to less-regulated
areas of the United States and to foreign markets
where smokers still light up wherever they
Research suggests that smoking restrictions reduce
cigarette sales by inducing many smokers to cut down
or even quit.
Researchers from USC and other institutions
involved in the Fontham study say the industry's
relentless pursuit of the data could have a chilling
effect on future health research.
Citing promises of confidentiality to subjects in the
study, they have resisted demands to cough up the
data, which cigarette makers say they need to defend
themselves in court.
*ntinued from Page 2.
illness by Steven Taylor, a doctor
who deals with the mentally ill.
Most of the 40 community mem-
bers who attended the lecture were
faculty or those suffering from
mental illness, Heeres said.
"He was relating simple research
to clinical psyche research,"
Heeres said. "Like how rats and
worms can tell us how our brains
LSA sophomores Megan Heeres and Tara Arrendondo two often organizers of
Menta ity Awareness, sit in East Quad Residence Hall yesterday.
ontinued from Page 3.
Singer conceded that the decades-long
old War between the United States and
e Soviet Union, in which the U.S.S.R.
ollapsed without any direct conflict,
d from his theory. But he noted that
experts have attributed the war's
eaceful nature to chance.
Lemke then took the floor, offering
dditional details from his analysis of
ilitary history. He emphasized once
ain that the concept of an arms race
as self-defeating, citing extensive data.
He rejected the theory of mutually
ssured destruction, which says one
uclear power will never launch an
tack on another, for fear of massive
fation. The theory was largely
the basis for U.S. nuclear policy
throughout the Cold War.
The weeklong teach-in runs through
Monday and will feature dozens of pre-
sentations by University faculty and out-
side lecturers. The events include: a talk
on nuclear arms and the environment
by Chief Earl Commanda of the
Serpent River First Nation, a Native
American tribe; a panel discussion on
the role of international law in nuclear
weaponry, with four law professors
from across the nation; and a lecture on
the c~e against disarmament by
Stanford University Prof. Bruce Bueno
Commanda, who attended yester-
day's eyent, is visiting Michigan from
his native Canada to spread his message
that government nuclear mining pro-
jeets are routed through his territory,
causing harm to his people.
"It seems we are the world's sacrifice
for nuclear by-products,' he said. This
year's forum continues a tradition of
teach-ins at the University. The first
event, in 1965, originated as a compro-
mise between students, who wanted to
strike in protest of the Vietnam war, and
administrators, who advocated a more
The teach-in format they devised
emerged as an educational forum
designed to raise questions and provide
answers. Today, as Haber reflects on 34
years of teach-ins, he still speaks with the
spirit of the 1960s.
"Students tmust understand the
importance of knowledge as a guide to
social action," Haber said.
Continued from Page 1
she enjoyed the lecture, but added that
Douglas argued only the extreme sides
to the argument and displayed only "sthe
best and worst of a lot of articles:'
"Personally it doesn't effect me that
much since I don't have kids," Cho
One of few males in attendance,
Engineering junior Mazin Sabra said
he found the lecture very comprehen-
sive. "The images were definitely
there, but she needs to make a point
that there is a middle" ground involved
in the discussion, he said.
Throughout her lecture, Douglas
contrasted the image of celebrity moth-
ers, like Christie Brinkley, with maga-
zine photographs of black mothers on
Douglas contrasted Brinkley's sexy
pose and flashing smile to the glum
expression on the black women's face.
She noted that in the mass media wel-
fare mothers are not portrayed in the
same manner as celebrity mothers
because they are asked questions deal-
ing primarily with their financial sta-
tus. She added that welfare mothers are
typically not found on the covers of
"I thought the presentation was real-
ly good. She was sarcastic and funny,"
said Rackham third-year graduate stu-
dent Susannah Dolance. "I hadn't
thought about the connections between
celebrity mothers and welfare moth-
The lecture honored Vivian R. Shaw,
the mother of former University stu-
dent Ellen Agress, who was a junior
when her mother died of breast cancer
in 1967. Agress has pledged to give
$30,000 to establish a Vivian R. Shaw
Lecture fund for the women's studies
programs and the Institute for Research
on Women and Gender. The gift will
sponsor an annual speaker, who will
lecture on women and gender issues.
Douglas is the Catherine Neafie
Kellogg professor in the department of
communications studies and is current-
ly exploring the effects the media has
had on motherhood from the late 1960s
to the present.
She has authored three books includ-
ing "Where the Girls Are: Growing Up
Female with the Mass Media."
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ontlnued from Page 2.
ld him why he had been taken to the hospital the night
ic car was towed. The student even told him that GHB
as illegal and that it could be used in date-rape situa-
"I told him the State Police had been searching the
in" Robbins said.
bins said that the student's reply was "'The police
snt search it too good,"' and then he removed a gallon
f what he said was GHB from the trunk. The student
so said that a 20-ounce pop bottle in the front seat con-
ined GHB. As the student was leaving, Robbins tele-
"I'd call it bragging," Robbins said of the student's
"I've got three young children ... I don't want my
daughter to grow up around this," Robbins added.
The student is not currently in police custody. A war-
rant for his arrest can be issued if drug test prove the sub-
stance in the jug is GHB, police said.
Charges being sought against the driver are possession
and use of cocaine and GHB, and driving under the influ-
ence of drugs.
The two men said they were returning from a party at
the Fox Theater in Detroit the night they were stopped,
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