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IL School District Teachers Strike Over Drug Testing

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #697)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Teachers in one Illinois school district went on strike Wednesday after the district failed to remove contract language demanding they submit to random, suspicionless drug testing. The teachers had offered to accept drug testing on reasonable cause, but at last minute Tuesday night meeting, the board rejected the compromise.

No school in Glaston, Illinois, this week. Teachers struck rather than submit to random drug tests. (Image: IBSD 327)
The matter had festered since last year, when it had been removed from contract negotiations as an intractable issue. The Illini Bluffs District 327 school board in May brought back the drug testing language in this year's contract negotiations and, remaining immune to suasion from the teachers, included the language in its formal final offer and items not agreed statement to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board last month. The board did try to sweeten the deal by offering to get drug tested, too, but the teachers weren't buying.

The board's demand for random, suspicionless teacher drug testing came despite its implicit admission that it was unneeded. In a July 21 press release chastising the union for refusing to buckle before its demands, the board wrote: "The testing program is not intended as a 'witchhunt' as the Board of Education believes that all District teachers would satisfactorily pass a drug and alcohol test."

At the same time, the teachers, represented by the Illini Bluffs Federation of Teachers, submitted their final offer, including their proposal for reasonable cause testing. They tersely noted that even reasonable cause testing was a concession, and that the estimated $6,000 cost to test the three-school district's 62 teachers could be better spent.

"While neither mandatory, random drug testing nor cause testing is an industry standard in the education profession, the Union offered the Board of Education a plan that would allow an administrator to deal with an employee drug problem if they ever have cause to do so," teacher negotiators wrote. "The Board admitted they have no specific concerns with any teacher or reason to believe a teacher has a problem. The Union looked at the $6,000 or more cost of the district’s policy and proposed the probable cause policy because they felt the cost of random testing would be better spent on students and classrooms."

School is supposed to start Thursday in Glaston, home of the Illini Bluffs District 327, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. The district has already canceled classes for the remainder of the week, and the teachers will be hitting the picket line instead of the books.

"We’ll be out there [picketing] from about 7:30 [am] to about 4:30 [pm]," said Keith Brown, lead negotiator for the union. "We want to be in a classroom instead of on the street. But they [the school board] didn't have that same agenda tonight," he told the Peoria Star-Journal after Tuesday's failed last-chance meeting.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymoussssssss (not verified)

More money for the ever growing drug testing industry... Good luck to the teachers on strike and thank you for looking after the kids interests! 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:31am Permalink
UnderBerries (not verified)

oh boo hoo! they don't wanna get drug tested. i get drug test at my job,and i work in the church of the lord..I practice the custodal arts. It's a very fine craft indeed. sure i don't get paid.I volenteer all my time to the church, and geuss what i pay for my drug testing these teachers need to buckel down and accept christ,and summit to the random testing.what do they have to hide.what are they so afraid of.the drug testing will get rid of them bad apples...knock em off the desk,,heck even jesus is a firm believer in drug testing,its a valuable tool in combating agienst drug users.they should be locked in the pokey,getting hung by a rope.we should even drug test student before they go to make sure their not high and kill anyone.praise jesus. and just do whats normal summit the drug test. its just pee

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:14pm Permalink
Dave N (not verified)

In reply to by UnderBerries (not verified)

SHUT THE FUCK UP! you have no idea what Jesus wants. Keep your fool mouth shut retard!

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 1:27pm Permalink
W (not verified)

What you advocate is a perversion of Christianity. Even though I feel completely justified in saying this because it is moral issue that transcends all religions. Drug testing is immoral for anybody at any time. What you say is just outrageous and evil. Your drug warrior nonsense has nothing to do with Christianity or any religion. We must support the teachers and fight with them until this immoral demand by management is defeated. Solidarity forever! True unionists fight and do not go boohoo you "Christian" fascist! 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 4:54pm Permalink
UnderBerries (not verified)

FUCK YOU! you're a liberal american nazi fuck you. you lost the arugement fucking nazi

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 8:05pm Permalink
Atheism (not verified)

Actually you lost the argument and you are now showing how much of a pissed off troll you are. Boo hoo.

P.S. Liberal and Nazi are pretty much antonyms (that means that they are opposites, since you probably don't know what that means).

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:49pm Permalink
Pookah James (not verified)

It is  in Glasford Illinois, not Glaston. Please continue to support the teachers union. These teachers are sacrificing a lot by standing up for what is right and they are standing strong not just for this school but they are speaking for everyone. It is unconstitutional. If we let the government into our body who's to say they can't start doing random home checks. A line needs to be drawn. Also it is an economical issue as well. There is already a drug testing policy in place at the school but for probably cause, which will save the school tens of thousands of dollars, and to the religious fanatics, way to show faith. 

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 7:10pm Permalink
Pam gari (not verified)

"even jesus is a firm believer in drug testing" Its sick shit like this that makes me SO glad that I raised my children as earth respecting Pagans!  People whom obviously handle vipers and call it worship do not need to be bothering people with such nonsense.

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 2:48am Permalink
Electrified (not verified)

Boo Hoo sounds just like the religious leaders of Jesus's time that Jesus spoke directly against. I haven't heard that kind of hypocrisy in a while. First off drug testing is against the bible. The reason being doing drugs are bad because it is a sin. Everyone sins including christians and a lot of the time they don't even know they are doing it. So its considered discrimination and hypocrisy to treat someone different that fails a drug test. Obviously meth, heroin, and cocaine are extremely bad when compared to cannabis, but urine tests mostly go after thc because the metabolites stay in your lipid cells for much longer than harder drugs.

Then people argue the bible says to "submit to governing authorities because god has put them in there". Well God will someday place the antichrist in place so what happens if you choose to worship him like he is going to require? So where do we draw the line and not take this verse litteraly? Well cannabis is demonized in much of the church today despite all the benefits it has not only from making clothes, rope, paper ect., much more effecient in making ethanol fuels then corn, you can live 100% off eating nothing but hemp seeds, and cannabis has huge medicinal potential eliminating bad fda pills that destroy your body, while not even 1 person has died from a thc overdose. Don't forget that alcohol is legal and tobacco despite having killing millions yearly. What about caffeine? Lots of christians drink lots of coffee and get cranky when they dont get it. Caffeine is more addictive than cannabis and directly causes a central nervous dependance. Our government says its ok to kill children. They have done millions of abortions. Our government is already out of the submit governing authorities context.


"Just do the normal thing and submit the drug test". Lets just do the normal thing and worship the antichrist. So then he can rape me and steal my soul. In the future days most people will worship the antichrist. The bible even says many christians will be decieved. You have to drug test just in order to volunteer? Sounds like you are in some kind of screwed up cult.


Take it from an open minded christian. The church is full of hypocrosy. Jesus pointed it out many times. Thats basically the earthly reason he was crucified. All they cared about was following religious rules while not caring about a relationship with God. Jesus says the relationship is all that matters.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 4:26pm Permalink

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