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The Balance Between Student Drug Testing and Fourth Amendment Rights in Response to Board of Education v. Earls

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In 1995, the United States Supreme Court rendered its decision in Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, holding that a school district's random suspicionless drug testing of student athletes for participation in interscholastic athletics did not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. In light of the Acton decision and in response to statistics indicating that drug use among students is rising, a number of school districts nationwide implemented mandatory drug testing for students. A 2001 study of the student drug-testing policies of Texas school districts confirmed this trend. The Supreme Court recently revisited the issue of random suspicionless drug testing of students in Board of Education v. Earls, where it upheld the district's policy requiring drug testing of students in any extra-curricular activities. This article examines the effects of the Supreme Court's decision in Board of Education v. Earls on Texas school districts' student drug-testing policies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Sam Houston State University, PO Box 2119, Huntsville, Texas 77341-2119, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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