Board of Education of Independent School

Board of Education of Independent
School District #92 of Pottawatomie
County et. al
Earls 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
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.
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?
(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
• Efficacy of the solution
uphold the decision of the 10th Circuit Court
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
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
• “We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.”

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