Jasmine Rutledge
Max Stieve
Case 3
VERNONIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 47J vs. ACTON Case
United States Supreme Court.
Argued March 28, 1995 -Decided June 26, 1995.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
Background:
The Vernonia School District in Vernonia, Oregon began to see a rise in the recreational use of drugs by their students and student athletes in the 1980’s; results of drug use by athletes led to increased sports related injuries. As an action to decrease the drug use, the school district adopted the Student Athlete Drug Policy. This policy gave the school district the rights to give athletes random, supervised drug tests if they participate or wish to participate in any type of interscholastic sport. The issue came along in 1991, when seventh grader James Acton was denied being able to sign up for football, because he and his parents did not give consent to be tested for drugs. The argument for the case was that the Student Athlete Drug Policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

Decision and Rationale:
There was a 6-3 district court ruling saying that the drug testing policy had not violated the Fourth Amendment dealing with unreasonable search and seizure. The court mentioned that the fourth amendment rights are more skewed in public schools than anywhere else. Especially since the school was trying to tackle the issue of drug use by their students. The government was also concerned with the wellbeing of the athletes under their supervision and that outweighs the invasion of student athletes' privacy.

Impact on Teaching:
We live in a society addicted to drugs. With that being said if we can cut the head off in schools by drug testing our athletes then I believe that it’s a good start. If the athletes make it to the next level in their desired sports then they will also face these tests. Random drug testing is a solid movement by schools to keep the drug use of students in check and will be an encouragement for them to not even try the drugs in the first place.

Applicable Quiz Question:
Is random drug testing in public schools a violation of the Constitution? What about outside of public schools?