Synopsis by Hal Erickson
In the Texas town of Lockney in 2000, cotton farmer Larry Tannahill, normally a mild, soft-spoken sort, boldly stood up and said "No!" to the town's ultraconservative school board. It all came about when the board voted to impose mandatory drug testing on all students. As a matter of principle, Tannahill refused to allow his son Brady to be tested -- thereby becoming the plaintiff in a legal case in which the ACLU was a leading player. With the entire town so vehemently pitted against him (as evidenced by disturbing footage of a volatile school board meeting), it is perhaps understandable that the hapless farmer would emerge as the put-upon hero of this made-for-TV documentary, but filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermback generously allow Tannahill's opponents to articulately state their case, as well. Larry vs. Lockney made its PBS television debut as part of that network's P.O.V. anthology series on June 28, 2003.
ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union], civil-liberties, conservative, determination, drug-testing, farmer, father, lawsuit, media-circus, ostracism, policy, resentment, school-board