November 18, 2011

?Contact: Deborah Read, (314) 652-3114;

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A federal judge granted class certification this week in the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri’s federal lawsuit charging Linn State Technical College with violating the constitutional rights of its students by forcing them to submit to mandatory drug tests as a condition of their enrollment. The ACLU now represents a class of all current and future students seeking degrees or certificates at the college.

A two-year, publicly funded college, Linn State is the first public college in the country to require students, all of whom are at least 18 years old, to submit to mandatory drug testing. The drug testing policy has been instituted despite there being no documented problems with drugs in the College’s 50-year history and no reason to suspect that the students being tested have used illegal drugs. “Linn State’s drug testing is an unconstitutional search,” said Brenda Jones, Executive Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. “As the Court recognized, every student at Linn State has the same Fourth Amendment right not to be unreasonably searched. This week’s decision will allow every student’s interest to be represented.”

A court-ordered injunction prevents the College from going forward with testing while the case is decided. The Court issued a temporary restraining order in September and a preliminary injunction today.