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#TBT: Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls

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In 1998, all school districts in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, required all middle and high school students to take a random urinal test before performing in extracurricular activities.

Two high school students, Lindsay Earls and Daniel James, and their parents brought this case to court, claiming that the drug testing policy was violating students’ Fourth Amendment. Lindsay Earls was a member of the show choir, marching band, Academic Team, and National Honor Society, while Daniel James was participating on the Academic Team. The two respondents also claimed that the school “failed to identify” a reason behind the drug test.

Originally the District Court allowed the drug testing policies, but the United States Court of Appeals reversed the constitutionality of drug testing procedures.

The respondent argued that random urinal tests violated the search and seizure protection. Unless there was reasonable suspicion and a urinal test is necessary, drug tests are not allowed.

The defendant claimed that these drug tests do not do any harm. As a matter of fact, not only are extracurricular activities are voluntary, are still part of the “school’s educational program.” Schools are allowed to have “individual suspicions,” similar to another case in New Jersey, New Jersey v. T.L.O.

It is also important, as the B.O.E. claimed, for students to be safe and drug tests are meant to protect students from getting hurt if they were to be under any sort of influence.








Joseph M. Ghabour
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