CHARLESTON - A state teachers union has filed a suit against the Kanawha County Board of Education after the board decided to randomly drug test teachers and other employees.
The American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia filed the suit Nov. 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court, calling for an end to the county board's plan to randomly test employees starting in January.
The board decided last week to go ahead with the drug testing, despite warnings of legal actions.
In a news release, Fred Albert, president of AFT-Kanawha said the decision to randomly test the employees violated the constitutional rights of those who would be tested.
"The Board left us no choice but to file the suit once they decided to implement a policy that risks student safety and violates the constitutional rights of its employees," the news release said. "The policy, in effect, places all teachers under suspicion; and this is both morally and legally wrong."
Albert told the Charleston Daily Mail that the money, which could be several hundred thousand dollars in the court battle and around $40,000 a year for the drug testing, could be put to better use in the classroom and used to reduce the student drop out rate.