The War on
Violating the 4th Amendment isn’t just for al Qaeda suspects anymore. Check out H.R. 5295.
This bill, coming up in Congress this week, would allow school officials to search dozens or even hundreds of students based on the mere suspicion that just one student brought drugs to school.
I’ve attached a sample protest letter below from the Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
I've got good news and bad news.
The good news is that when Students for Sensible Drug Policy asked you
to take action against the deceptively named "Student and Teacher Safety
Act of 2006," our supporters came through in a big way. 1,646 of you
sent letters to Congress demanding that students' constitutional right
to privacy be protected from the expansion of locker and backpack
searches in middle and high schools.
Legislators took note of your overwhelming response and scaled back some
of the bill?s scariest language. Now, instead of inventing a whole new
looser justification for student searches ("colorable suspicion"), the
bill requires stricter "reasonable suspicion."
But the bad news is that the new broadly worded bill would still allow
school officials to search dozens or even hundreds of students based on
the mere suspicion that one student brought drugs to school. This kind
of justification allowed police officers to storm a high school in Goose
Creek, SC, in 2003, forcing dozens of students to the ground and
pointing guns directly at their faces during a misguided raid in which
no drugs were found.
But the news gets worse: The bill could come to a vote on the House
floor as soon as this week! To help us stop this bill in its tracks,
please send a letter to your member of Congress right now by visiting
The sponsor of the new offensive school searches bill, Rep. Geoff Davis
(R-KY), is facing a tough reelection battle this November and has
convinced the House leadership to take up the bill so he can tell his
constituents he?s done something in Washington, DC. Congressional
leaders are circumventing the democratic process and are bringing this
bill directly to the House floor, completely skipping committee debate
and approval. The silver lining is that because of this procedural move,
the bill needs a 2/3 vote in order to pass, so we have a real chance to
stop it ? but we can only do so if you take action immediately.
We expect a vote as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, so we
need you to take action now to stop this bill in its tracks and make
sure there?s never another horrific incident like the one in Goose Creek.
Please send a letter to your member of Congress right away by visiting
If you have an extra two minutes, please call your member of Congress
and ask him or her to vote against the school searches bill when it
comes to the House floor this week. If you don't know who your House
representative is, simply call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
and give them your address. They'll connect you directly with your
representative's office. When you get a staffer on the phone, politely
say something like:
"My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I'm calling to urge
[the congressman/the congresswoman] to vote against the deceptively
named 'Student and Teacher Safety Act' when it comes to the floor this
week. The bill would allow schools and police to invasively search large
groups of innocent students based on the mere suspicion that just one of
them has drugs. I hope [the congressman/the congresswoman] will respect
young people?s dignity by voting against H.R. 5295. Thank you."
When you're done, please forward this alert to your friends and family.
Without your help, we won?t be able to ensure that there are no more
And if you can afford it, please consider making a financial
contribution ? large or small ? to SSDP's efforts to beat back the
government's Drug War attacks on young people at http://www.ssdp.org/donate
Thanks for continuing to support SSDP. We'll continue to keep you
informed about our efforts to foster drug policies that respect and
protect young people.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy