Friday, January 16, 2009

EBR Parish suspends rule requiring drug tests

Until now, if a Baton Rouge teacher was attacked by a student, slipped on a wet floor, was clobbered by an errant baseball or otherwise hurt on the job, that teacher had to pee in a bottle before being treated for the injury.

Thanks to the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers, that insult is over.

Courts around the country have ruled that drug testing a teacher without probable cause is unconstitutional, but but school boards and administrators must occasionally be reminded by a judge.

In Baton Rouge, the case was brought by a teacher who was beaten by a student and then forced to undergo a drug test before she could be treated for her injuries. Her union filed suit, and on Thursday the school board agreed to suspend its drug testing policy until a federal judge rules on the suit.

A school teacher's first action after being attacked by a student will no longer be to fill a bottle with urine, thanks to the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.

Advocate reporter Bill Lodge covered the story in this report.

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