The Zionsville Student Rights Union in central Indiana has certainly not been taking a break from their work for student rights, and continues to make progress. Most of the changes the ZSRU proposed for the student handbook at their school, including changes protecting students’ rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, have been accepted by the school’s Handbook committee. The ZSRU is also working to form chapters at Indiana University and Purdue University, and in Indianapolis.
Also, the Union is currently working to stop a push by the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter to introduce random drug testing for students. ZSRU Chairman Steve Ross says that there are better ways than random drug testing to deter youth from using drugs. The ZSRU is working with the SADD chapter on alternative proposals, including fully “comprehensive and honest” drug education, but is prepared to fight against random drug testing at a town hall meeting in April if SADD continues to push for it. Ross hopes that a comprehensive drug education program would satisfy SADD’s goal of protecting students’ safety while also protecting the Fourth Amendment and its prohibition of unreasonable searches.
In addition, Ross has received a $12,500 scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union for his student rights activism. The scholarship, the ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship, also includes a trip to ACLU headquarters in New York for leadership training. “It’s a good feeling to be so prestigiously recognized for the work I care most about,” Ross told NYRA Freedom.