Board of Education of Independent School District #92 of Pottawatomie County et. alvEarls et. al Ellie Ingbritsen and Rosie Parmigiani
4th Amendment The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Case Summary The Techumeseh, Oklahoma School District adopted a policy (The Student Activities Drug Testing Policy) that requires all middle and high school students to consent to urinalysis testing for drugs in order to participate in an extracurricular activity. In practice, the Policy has been applied to competitive extracurricular activities as sanctioned by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA). In response to the requirements, high school students and their parents brought action against the policy alleging that the Policy violates the Fourth Amendment. The District Court of Oklahoma granted the School District summary judgment. The Tenth Circuit Court reversed the decision citing that the Policy violated the Fourth Amendment. The Court concluded that any school policy that imposed a suspicionless drug testing program must demonstrate some identifiable drug abuse problem among a significant number of those tested, such that testing would act as an intervention among Tecumeseh students participating in competitive extracurricular activities.
Questions?? Is the Student Activities Drug Testing, which requires all students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities to submit to drug testing, consistent with the Fourth Amendment? Would you uphold the 10th Circuit Court or would you overturn their decision?
PRO (In favor of upholding the decision of the 10th Circuit Court)
Policy violates the 4th Amendment…… • Student expectations of privacy • Character of the intrusion • Nature and immediacy of the governmental concern • Efficacy of the solution Therefore.. uphold the decision of the 10th Circuit Court
Con • Fourth Amendment – protects the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. • School District’s Policy for reasonableness • Individual Suspicion • Intrusion • Nature and immediacy of consciousness and efficacy
The opinion of the Supreme Court delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas • In Vernonia, the testing policy was undertaken in furtherance of the Government responsibilities as guardian and tutor of children entrusted to their care. • Applying the Vernonia’s principles to this case… • First, the nature of the privacy interest allegedly compromised by the drug testing as minimum as students affected by the policy have limited expectation of privacy “ because they voluntarily participate in the extracurricular activities.”
Second, the invasion of students’ privacy is not significant given the minimally intrusive nature of the sample collection and the limited uses to which the test results are put. (not turned over to law enforcement, nor do the results lead to imposition of discipline or have any academic consequences) • Finally, considering the nature and immediacy of the Government’s concerns and the efficacy of the policy in meeting them, we conclude that the policy effectively serves the District’s interest in protecting the safety and health of the students.
Accordingly, “we express no opinion as to its wisdom”, we hold only that the policy does not violate the 4th Amendment because it is a reasonable means of furthering the School District’s important interest in “preventing and deterring” drug use among its school children. • “We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.”