D.D.C.: Drug testing school teachers violated 4A

Drug testing of some school teachers in the District of Columbia violated the reasonable expectation of privacy and didn’t serve government interests. There was no indication one group of teachers (really small kids) even deserved to be included for a complete lack of drug history. Defendant’s motion to dismiss denied; plaintiff’s summary judgment motion granted. Ass’n of Indep. Schs. of Greater Wash. v. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70146 (D.D.C. Apr 26, 2018):

Having assessed the competing privacy interests and government interests at stake, the Court must now determine which way the scale tips. As to the former, it concludes that employees of child-development facilities have a significant expectation of privacy. As to the latter, it finds that the District’s interest does not rise to the level of immediacy or concreteness needed to justify the random, suspicionless testing of nursery-school teachers. While it does not doubt that Defendants’ policy is a sincere attempt to protect infants and toddlers cared for in the District, the Court’s holding reflects the principle that preventing the invasion of personal-privacy rights is “among the highest responsibilities of the federal judiciary.” Bangert v. Hodel, 705 F. Supp. 643, 655 (D.D.C. 1989). Charged with this duty, the Court determines that nursery-school teachers such as Plaintiffs cannot be subjected to random, suspicionless searches as a condition of their employment. The Court therefore holds as a matter of law that OSSE’s testing requirement “does not fit within the closely guarded category of constitutionally permissible suspicionless searches,” and it will thus grant Plaintiffs’ Motion. Chandler, 520 U.S. at 309.

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