Just down the road from me, there’s been a contentious situation as teachers have been on strike. One of the strike issues has been over mandatory random suspicionless drug-testing for teachers.
The main newspaper in the area has come forward with a powerful editorial: At Illini Bluffs, A Principle Worthy Of The Picket Line
The teachers strike at Illini Bluffs is into its second week and eyeballing a third, and it has been fascinating, if also a bit depressing, to read the back-and-forth in the on-line comments to Journal Star stories.
Once upon a time this nation stood for something, affording its citizens an unprecedented set of civil liberties. Americans got used to those, so much so that they wouldn’t give them up without a fight. Apparently that spirit has vanished from certain segments of the population, if not from the ranks of these teachers. […]
Ultimately, it’s about the kind of country you want to live in. The nation’s Founding Fathers got it. ( Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ) The teachers get it. The Illini Bluffs School Board doesn’t. ( No wonder its members have remained so silent. )
And unfortunately a fair number of citizens don’t get it either. They subscribe to the misperception that such random drug testing policies are common. ( If there is another Illinois public school district that does what Illini Bluffs is proposing, no one seems to be aware of it. ) Routine are the all-too-porous arguments that these teachers “are lucky to have a job” or “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.” ( Imagine the constitutional abuses that could be excused by those attitudes. ) One appreciates that this economy has cowed a lot of people, but this level of passive and compliant seems downright un-American. Who’d have thought sticking up for the Constitution would prove in the least bit unpopular?
Freedom. What a concept.