The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held unanimously that school boards may not subject all employees to warrantless, suspicionless drug and alcohol testing under the sham premise that everyone who works in a school, from the janitor to the front office bookkeeper, works in a "safety-sensitive" position.
Specifically, the Court held that just because the board's policy says this:
All positions of employment within the Graham County School system, including but not limited to administrative, classified, non-classified, part time, full time, temporary, and permanent, shall be designated as safety sensitive positions due to the fact that these positions require work where an inattention to duty or error in judgment will have the potential for significant risk or harm to those entrusted to their care, and the possibility or probability of contact with students and the influence employees have could cause irreparable damage to the health and well being of the students
doesn't necessarily make it so. The elderly lady in bookkeeping doesn't have to pee in a cup on command.
The decision is otherwise remarkable in a few ways: First, and especially in a conservative state like North Carolina, it flies against the trend that any theoretical connection between drugs and children is cause to throw constitutional rights out the window. Second, the Court limited its holding to the North Carolina Constitution's equivalent of the Fourth Amendment, ensuring that no federal judges, specifically the United States Supreme Court, can undo its work. (The state supreme court is another story.)
And finally, this remarkable bit of dictum, from which I've removed citations, quotation marks, and ellipses:
The Board errantly relies on the premise that Fourth Amendment rights are different in public schools than elsewhere; the 'reasonableness' inquiry cannot disregard the schools' custodial and tutelary responsibility for children. The Board, however, fails to account for the explicit teaching of the Supreme Court that because the nature of the schools' power over schoolchildren is custodial and tutelary, the schools' power permits a degree of supervision and control over schoolchildren that could not be exercised over free adults.
In other words, the Graham County Board of Education takes the position that because it can violate to an otherwise intolerable degree the privacy of its students, it can do the same to the adults.