APPEALS COURT denies request to revisit drug-testing policy decision

Friday, June 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A federal appeals court decision that barred some drug testing of students in the Tecumseh school district will stand.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver voted 8-1 on Thursday to deny the Tecumseh School Board's request to reopen the case.

In March, the court ruled 2-1 that it is generally unconstitutional for public schools to require students in non-athletic extracurricular activities to be tested for use of illegal drugs.

The only exception, the judges in the majority ruled, is when a school has an ``identifiable'' drug problem.

The ruling struck down Tecumseh's drug-testing policy, which covered students in choir, band and some other non-class activities.

Three Tecumseh High School students challenged the policy.

Tecumseh officials contended that school districts throughout Oklahoma were confused by the court's decision. About 60 school district in Oklahoma are affected.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that schools can require student athletes to submit to drug testing. But testing students in other extracurricular activities was at issue.

After the defeat, Tecumseh school officials in April asked all nine judges of the court to reconsider the decision made by the three-judge panel.