Search & Seizure in Schools: Drug Testing in Public Schools Opinion Poll Drug testing should be allowed in schools Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree Opinion Poll Drug testing should be allowed in schools Test everyone Random Testing Test Suspicious Never Test What’s the Law? • Federal law: • The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution • “Special needs” searches are reasonable even without a warrant • The US Supreme Court has said that drug testing of student athletes falls within this “special needs” exception because schools need to protect students’ well-being. • The Supreme Court later said that schools can drug test ANY student participating in extracurricular activities. What’s the Law Here? • Washington Law • Article I, Section 7 of the WA Constitution: “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law” • WA Supreme Court: NO “special needs” exception to the warrant requirement for random drug testing in schools Who Got It Right? • Do schools have a “special need” to keep drugs out of schools? • Or should schools be limited to testing students they have reason to suspect might be using drugs? The Fourth Amendment in Schools • Students do NOT give up their Fourth Amendment rights when they come to school • But the government can more easily justify a search of the student’s person or possessions at school • The US Supreme Court in New Jersey v. T.L.O said: a school can search a student’s person or possessions if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that the student has contraband items. Key Question: Reasonableness • Is the item that the school is searching for something extremely dangerous? • How reliable is the information? • How badly was the person’s privacy invaded? • The Supreme Court said in Safford v. Redding that it was NOT reasonable for a school to make a 13 year old student undress so she could be searched for Tylenol based on an unconfirmed tip.