Linn State Institutes Mandatory Drug Testing Of Incoming Students


Linn State Technical College became the first public institution of higher learning to implement mandatory drug testing of all new students and all those returning from extended leaves of absence, flying in the face of the Fourth Amendment.

Courts only allow school administrators to drug test students under limited circumstances and is usually restricted to those students participating in sports or other activities. But those cases have only looked at drug testing of public high school students — not adults entering public colleges and universities.

Linn State didn’t implement this policy because it believes it has a student body with a higher drug rate than other colleges. In fact, the school stated publicly that they don’t think they have a higher student rate of drug use than other colleges, but that their policy is designed to prepare students for the real world of employee drug testing.

But if the goal was simply to prepare students, couldn’t that be accomplished in a much less intrusive manner, say by simply educating their students.

Students will have to bear the cost of being drug tested. The $50 test appears as a fine for new students. If the test comes back negative students will be reimbursed. If the results are positives the college then charges $35 for an online drug education program. Students may be forced to leave because of a drug test and may not have their tuition reimbursed.

The idea of specific, individualized suspicion before a search is about as core a constitutional principal as we have in this country. Yet the right is doing its best to make sure that applies only to the very rich. Can you imagine a similar policy proposed at Harvard?


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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is “For the Children”


Photo from Francis Storr via flickr.


Abbe A.
Azaima A6 years ago


Dennis T.
Dennis T.6 years ago

You have a choice about what school to go to. If you don't like this policy, don't go to Linn. If you are clean and get your money back, what's the issue. I am subject to a random drug test as a commercial driver. I won't be getting a positive result as I don't use. I don't have to worry about it. In the total cost of an education, what part does this $50 play. We have very important things to deal with in this country, some of those things which are much higher on the concern scale for me have to do with drug use and misuse. Let's keep things in perspective.

Barbara Dahms
Barbara Dahms6 years ago

Where and what is Linn State?

Brian F.
Brian F6 years ago

Why is it always the poor and powerless who must submit to drug test. Do not the poor students suffer enough by going $200,000 in debt after 4 years and get a degree that is worthless because they can't find a job? These colleges already make a fortune ripping off our poor students. Why can't we drug test the rich Dean's and colledge administators who sit in their air conditioned offices making $200,000 a year, while our poor students get ripped off by our criminal for profit colledge system? Why can't we drug test rich corporate ceo's who make $15 million a year and our politicians in Washimgton who make $175,000 a year and do nothing. If we are going to demand that our poor students, unemployed, and people on wellfare, and foodstamps get drug tested, then we need to drug test everyone including our rich corporate ceo's, deans and professors of our colleges, medacious worthless politicians, and everyone in society. It is not fair to only single out the poor and powerless, for drug test only because they are poor and have no power or a voice.

Jessica O.
Jessica O6 years ago

I would think most college students have some kind of part time job so why do you need to prepare them? That sounds like a lame excuse.........

Catt R.
Catt R6 years ago

All of you "not with my tax dollars... I don't want my tax dollars spent on that" people should be having fits about this..... yes schools are run with a small portion of tax dollars. This school is robbing the students of the educational benefit they could gain from those tax dollars. Someone on the board of directors has taken the attitude that if the governor of Florida can mandate that every Medicaid recipient must be drug tested and the state must pay the governors wife's company for each drug test---- well if the governor of Florida can make a law to increase the profits for his family business and no-one stops him...... If the governor of Florida can openly rob the tax box...... why can't we send all of our students to the lab of my friend down the street..... his company can use the business and the tax dollars will pay for it...... and if we catch someone because they were not paying attention...... well we can have them arrested as felons and it will make us look like the good guys.

Just like torture..... if we say we get results how dare anyone care.......

Betsy M.
Betsy M6 years ago

This is the commodification of children & youth. Nothing to do with drug control. If it was about drug control, we would not be testing the powerless attendees of trade schools. How about testing all physicians who have hospital privileges. Medical boards & insurance boards that receive medicare & medicaid benefits. Require testing for the boards & top execs of agribusinesses before they receive their HUGE tax benefits. Test boards & execs of military contractors, civilian armies. All banks, financial institutions get tested...

Carole Dunn
Carole Dunn6 years ago

"Land of the free and home of the brave." I think not. All the drug testing that goes on has stripped us of an important basic freedom. I'm sick to death of being thought of as a criminal, dope fiend, or terrorist until I can prove myself innocent. Why aren't we protesting en masse? Americans aren't brave people anymore. We are becoming a nation of peasants having to bow and scrape to our "betters." I'm 66 years old, and tired. What I want to know is why today's young people aren't protesting. Lousy jobs, drug testing, showing ID wherever you go... My generation fought for causes that have improved the lots of women and minorities. What's wrong with the young people of today? You're awfully docile. Maybe you are subliminally being brainwashed by all your "apps" that you can't tear yourselves away from. Get a life. Put down the electronics and look around you.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B6 years ago

The question that needs answering is "Who is making money out of all this drug testing?"

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson6 years ago

....................... It'll happen MOSTLY to students whose daddys AREN'T PROMINENT LAWYERS. Where IS this school anyway ? I would NOT ALLOW my child to submit to this travesty!