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Schools across the state will add random drug testing and increased locker inspections to this year’s schedule, raising questions about whether such practices violate civil rights.

At least three school districts in the Houston area and dozens more across Texas will begin random drug testing, spurred in part by a recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the practice and by the lure of federal money that may help pay for it.

The Katy, Splendora and Huffman independent school districts will begin testing this year, and one company that provides testing for Texas schools has signed up nearly 30 districts across the state.

Steve London, whose son is a senior in the Katy school district, said the testing will help prevent drug use.

“If we have a tool available where we can make a dent or get a few students not to start using drugs, I think we should use it,” he said.

But the idea of students who participate in competitive after-school activities and those who drive to campus being randomly tested for drugs makes American Civil Liberties Union officials squirm.

The ACLU has argued in lawsuits that such tests violate the Fourth Amendment and other privacy protections.

“If the school district is concerned with the long-term health of their students, this is the wrong way to go about it,” said Will Harrell, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “Students who are occasionally experimenting with drugs may choose not to participate in extracurricular activities that could lead them to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.”

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