A state technical college in Missouri has an unusual requirement for new students: pass a mandatory drug test.
Linn State Technical College — a 1,200-student school in Linn, Missouri — instituted the program this week, the AP reports. Associate Dean of Student Affairs Richard Pemberton said the drug tests are a way to prepare students for the professional world.
“They’re going to be faced with this as they go into the drug-free workplace,” he told the AP. “We want them to be prepared.”
Pemberton did not immediately return TPM’s request for further comment. The drug test costs $50, paid for by students, and it screens for cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and other drugs. If a student fails the test, he or she is put on probation and has the option to take another test a later date, while staying on probation. But why force the drug tests at all?
“The mission of LSTC is to prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning,” the college’s drug screening FAQ says. “Drug screening is becoming an increasingly important part of the world of work. It is also believed it will better provide a safe, healthy, and productive environment for everyone who learns and works at LSTC by detecting, preventing, and deterring drug use and abuse among students.”
Naturally, the program has raised a few eyebrows. Dan Viets, a lawyer and member of the Missouri Civil Liberties Association, said “They’re trying to break new ground here. I don’t think the courts will uphold it.”
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David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com