Federal court reinstates college drug-testing ban

A federal court has reinstated a ban on mandatory drug-testing for the majority of students at State Technical College of Missouri, a two-year school in Linn, Missouri.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in December 2016 that only students in certain programs where public safety is a concern could undergo the mandatory testing. Those five programs are aviation maintenance, electrical distribution systems, industrial electricity, power sports and CAT dealer service technician.

The school had argued that the testing, instituted in 2011, could better prepare students for a drug-free work environment. But in 2013, in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, a trial judge issued an injunction barring the college from testing all students. The appeals court upholds that ban, saying drug testing students enrolled in other programs would constitute an unreasonable search. 

Should the ruling be appealed, the case would next go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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