Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

Currently: 43° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Schoolteacher files lawsuit over ‘invasive’ drug test

A Las Vegas middle school teacher has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Clark County School District for allegedly holding her against her will in a room and forcing her to take an “invasive” drug test.

Christa Casillas, a teacher at Cadwallader Middle School, is seeking injunctive relief ordering the School District to change its drug testing regulations, policies and procedures to conform with constitutional Fourth Amendment mandates.

She is also seeking compensatory damages of $100,000, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Her attorney is Richard Segerblom.

The suit also names several school administrators and support staff reportedly involved in the incident.

Melinda Malone, a spokeswoman for the School District, said she had not heard about the lawsuit and was checking on it with the district’s legal office.

The lawsuit claims that on Oct. 7, 2010, Casillas was summoned into the school’s main office by an assistant principal and ordered to take an “invasive drug test.”

Casillas alleges she was denied having a teachers’ union representative present and that when she asked to leave, the assistant principal blocked the door and told staff to call school police to keep the teacher there.

Casillas failed the test for marijuana and was fired, the lawsuit said.

Casillas appealed the termination through the union contract arbitration process and the arbitrator ordered that she be reinstated.

Casillas returned to work in May 2011 and during the next 11 months was subjected to eight random drug tests, all of which she passed, the lawsuit says.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 12 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Typical of a school union and exactly why our schools don't need unions.

  2. First they had to tell her why she was being summoned, second they can't force her to take a drug test, third they refused to allow her union rep to be present. And lastly they forceably stopped her from leaving. If she refused to take the test she could be fired, but not under the circumstances because she was denied representation and freedom of choice. The school district is gonna pay for this one. Just because you are an employee does not mean you give up your rights. No matter if it is a public or private employer. Nevada has a law that says public employees can't sue their employer but the intent of the law is unenforceable.

  3. Utterly speechless? Me too. "No Im not accountable for using drugs and failing a drug test. I want my job back and $100k plus legal."
    Well I, for one, want this person as far away from children as possible. She is irresponsible, unaccountable drug user.

  4. Seven very convincing words as to why the school district is on the hook: "Don't let nobody out of this room" - OJ Simpson.

  5. Sounds like there is a lot more to the story than what is here. Why was she summoned in the first place? My guess is that the school district suspected of her drug use.

    In these days of lawsuits, I am surprised the school district took the actions they did. I have a bad feeling they are going to be on the losing side of this lawsuit. And sadly, the teacher will likely have her job restored despite her apparent indiscretions.

  6. Another reason why Unions are bad for society. They protected a known/proven drug user.....and this person is teaching kids in public school! I'm so glad we send/sent our kids to private schools, where they could oust people like this at will. I feel bad for the children who get a subpar teaching experience because of politics and bureaucracy.

  7. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  8. Oh, did we miss again? All teachers are "special" like Ms. Berkley and know better than everyone else. Teachers should not be expected to do anything that other employees routinely do. No teacher has every bullied a kid, had sex with a student, embezzled funds, ignored students while networking and unionizing.

  9. It never ceases to amaze me: the number of people who apparently do not believe in due process, reasonable suspicion or cause of action. All are part of "rule of law", those principles upon which the US legal system is founded. If you people don't like America, whydoncha go somewhere else!

  10. she wanted to leave so she could go buy the drug test cleaners they sell at all the head shops. Duh. If you tell someone they are going to get a drug test and then allow them to leave for a few hours, dont be surprised when they come back with masking agents in their urine or some other reason why they failed.

  11. Implied consent. If you agree to drive on our roads, you agree to be tested. When pulled over on suspicion, many drivers try to delay the test long enough for some of the booze to drain out of their blood stream. Sounds like teach thinks like a drunk driver.

  12. @Joe Lamy - Yes, drug users of any type are bad. It doesn't matter if you've used once in 2 yrs or once every 2 hrs.....if you're on drugs, you shouldn't be teaching kids. I'm sorry, but that's what I believe. The "union" protects people like this....thank God for private schools. This teacher should be punished and lose her job....those who believe otherwise deserve what they get.