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Board of Education v. Earls
Transcript of Board of Education v. Earls
536U.S.822 Board of Education v. Earls Plantiff - Board of Education of
Independent School District of
Pattawatomie County, et al.
Defendant - Earls, et al. Court Membership Identified Parties: Holding Issue Presented Tecumseh, Oklahoma School District
Important Note: The Student Activities Drug Testing Policy requires all middle and high school students to consent to urinalysis testing for drugs in order to participate in any extracurricular activity. Important Findings Works Cited Chief Justice:
William Rehnquist Associate Justices:
John P. Stevens Sandra Day O'Conner David Souter
Antonin Scalia Anthony Kennedy ClarenceThomas
Ruth Bader Ginsberg Stephen Breyer DRUG TESTING Coercive drug testing imposed by school district upon students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities does not violate the Fourth Amendment - based on Vernonia, the Supreme Court allowed suspicionless drug testing. 536U.S.822 was a United States
Supreme Court Case in which the
court upheld the constitutionality
of mandatory drug testing by public
schools of students participating in
competitive extracurricular activities. The legal challenge to the practice was brought by two students, Lindsay Earls and Daniel James, and their families against the school board of Tecumseh, Oklahoma, alleging that their policy requiring students to consent to random urinalysis testing for drug use violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a majority opinion delivered by
Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court held that students in extracurricular activities had a diminished expectation of privacy, and that policy furthered an important interest of the school in preventing drug use among students in the school. Vernonia School District v. Acton
was used as precedent for the Board of Education v. Earls case, which allowed drug testing for athletes.
Justice Stephen Breyer filed an opinion concurring in the Court's judgement - extending this ruling to students involved in competitive extracurricular activities. Two Tecumseh High School students and their parents brought suit, alleging that the policy violates the Fourth Amendment. The District Court granted the School District summary judgement. In reversing, the Court of Appeals held that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the District. The appellate court concluded that before imposing a suspicionless drug-testing program a school must demonstrate some identifiable drug abuse problem among a sufficient number of those tested, such that testing that group will actually redress its drug problem, which the School District had failed to demonstrate.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided that since the students volunteered to be in competitive extracurricular activities, they were seen as having a "limited expectation of privacy".
Moreover, their was evidence of drug use by students at school and the court justified that taking urine samples as a "reasonable means" for "preventing and deterring drug use" among students in the school did not violate the Fourth Amendment. FOURTH
AMENDMENT Drug testing students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities does not violate the Fourth Amendment. When drug use by students has been apparent at the school site, drug testing is seen as a reasonable means for preventing and deterring drug use. 536U.S.822 www.law2.umkc.edu
Lisa Schmidt & Jina Hughes