And this is when I’d quit being a coach
I’m not a coach. I don’t have a desire to be one. If I was one, however, I’d be very concerned about what the Gering Public Schools is considering. At their board meeting on Monday night, the school district will be debating not only whether or not to start drug testing their student athletes, but also their coaches.
Gering Superintendent Don Hague says the school board will discuss a proposed random drug testing policy when they meet Monday evening. The board has had preliminary talks about the idea, which initially was being considered just for students in extra-curricular activities. Hague says there will be some discussion about including coaches in the random testing as well.
There is no need to drug test the coaches. They are not competing in athletic events and it is a basic violation of their privacy rights. Under The Constitution, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and you are also given the protection from unwarranted search and seizure.
In essence, drug testing is a form of employment discrimination. You are eliminating an entire group of people from possible employment simply because they stand up for their rights and say they will not be tested. In 1997, by an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court agreed in the case of Chandler v. Miller that a Georgia law forcing state employees to take drug tests constituted an unreasonable search.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, said that the drug testing was an unreasonable search. The state can impose drug tests in exceptional cases, when there is a public-safety need for them (as with bus and train operators, for instance). But the Fourth Amendment does not allow the state to diminish “personal privacy for a symbol’s sake,” the court said.
I have been working for Gering Public Schools for five years. If I was a coach, I’d step down from my position and refuse to be tested if such a policy was implemented. If they force such a policy upon all school staff I would refuse, citing Chandler v. Miller, and immediately start looking for a constitutional lawyer.