Max Stieve
Ambie Watson
158 F.3d 361: Knox County Education Association, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Knox County Board of Education, Defendant-appellant
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. - 158 F.3d 361
Argued June 11, 1998.Decided Sept. 29, 1998
The Knox County Education Association (KCEA), which represents professional employees in the Knox school system, challenged the Board of Education’s “Drug-Free Workplace Substance Abuse Policy” which establishes suspiciousness testing for all Knox County employees as well as testing for “reasonable suspicion” drug and/or alcohol testing for all employees. KCEA claims that the policy violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Board responded that it had already been questioned and edited to fix any violations. The District Court found that the policy did in fact violate the Fourth Amendment on the fact that it permitted suspicion less testing as well as permitting alcohol testing upon reasonable suspicion.

The District Court ultimately ruled that the reasonable suspicion drug testing was constitutional. They agree that if a school system believes in a drug free environment, then they should encourage school officials and any school personnel to abide by those rules for the good of the children they serve. Also mentioned was that because the issue dealt with the teaching profession that privacy was not so much important, the reason being that they are at school with children for seven hours a day. Thus reasonable cause is the right measurement to test teachers because they are around students daily.

As teachers we have to lead by example and are in fact held to a higher standard compared to other professions. We are daily role models for the youth and they will pick up on the mannerisms that we conduct. If they can tell that we are using drugs or consuming alcohol then they may deem it ok to do the same. Teachers have to uphold their sobriety in the classroom for good of everything that we stand for.
It is legal to test a teacher for alcohol upon reasonable suspicion.