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The Carlstadt-East Rutherford (N.J.) Regional School District cannot require its 516 high-school students to provide urine specimens for tests designed to detect drug use, a state judge ruled last week.

Judge Peter Ciolino of State Superior Court in Hackensack barred implementation of the new policy until Sept. 3, when he will conduct hearings on whether to make his ruling permanent.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed suit on behalf of five students at the high school, arguing that the mandatory urine tests violate the students' right to protection against unreasonable searches.

The new policy, approved by the school board this month, is part of the district's drug-abuse prevention program, according to school officials.

Students found to have the residue of narcotics in their systems could be expelled from school under state education law, said Joseph Morris, principal of the Becton Regional High School. (See Education Week, June 19, 1985.)

A federal district judge has affirmed the right of a divorced Albany, N.Y., man who has joint custody of his two children to receive duplicate copies of information sent from their school to his former wife.

In a suit filed in March 1984, Robert Fay, a pediatrician, charged that the 5,200-student South Colonie School District had violated his civil rights when it refused to send him notices of activities in which his children were involved. (See Education Week, March 14, 1984.)

Although Judge Robert Miner3ruled that the district did not violate the due-process or equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment, he said the doctor is entitled to receive--but must pay postage on--duplicate copies of all mailings sent to the children's mother, according to Joseph Prenoveau, assistant superintendent for instruction in the district.

The district had agreed before the ruling to send the notices to Dr. Fay, but the controversy arose over whether the district would also send to Dr. Fay copies of the announcements and other information his children brought home with them, Mr. Prenoveau said. Judge Miner stipulated that the ruling applies only to items sent through the mail.

A member of the House Judiciary Committee has asked Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker 3rd to investigate how a Reagan Administration appointee in his department obtained a letter to the Education Department that criticized an ed official's distribution of a speech calling the United States a Christian nation.

In an Aug. 12 letter to Mr. Baker, Representative Patricia Schroeder, Democrat of Colorado, protested the activities of Christopher Sundseth, a Treasury Department employee who sent a sharply worded response to a man who had written to edcriticizing the activities of its regional representative in Denver.

Gerald B. Leib's letter to ed criticized an official mailing by Thomas G. Tancredo, the regional official, lamenting the "Godlessness" of public education "in this Christian nation." (See Education Week, Jan. 30, 1985.) Mr. Leib received a reply from Mr. Sundseth, a former political director of the Adolph Coors Co.'s political-action committee, warning him he faced divine retribution in the hereafter.

Vol. 04, Issue 40 & 41

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