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School district sued over drug testing

March 22, 2012 at 5:31 PM

PHILADELPHIA, March 22 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania school district was sued Thursday by a sixth-grader's family for its policy of random and suspicionless drug-testing of students.

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and a law firm, representing the family of a student in the Solanco, Lancaster County, School District identified as "M.M.," seeks to stop the school district from requiring students who participate in extracurricular activities to submit to random drug tests, whether or not a student is suspected of drug use.

The ACLU, whose focus is on individuals' rights, claims the school district's actions violate a 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that requires an indication of widespread drug use in the student population before random testing, without warning or suspicion, can be administered, the organization said in a news release.

"Not only are these policies a violation of students' right to privacy, numerous studies have shown they do not reduce student drug use," said ACLU of Pennsylvania Executive Director Reggie Shuford.

M.M. and her parents have refused to consent to the school's ruling, citing its unconstitutionality, leading to the 11-year-old's removal from chorus, orchestra and a mathematics competition, the news release said.

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