Vernonia school district v acton 1995. VERNONIA SCHOOL DIST. 47J v. ACTON 2022-10-23
Vernonia school district v acton 1995
In 1995, the Supreme Court case of Vernonia School District v. Acton addressed the constitutionality of drug testing for student athletes in the Vernonia School District in Oregon. The case ultimately determined that drug testing for student athletes is constitutional, as long as it is reasonable and serves a legitimate governmental interest.
The Vernonia School District implemented a drug testing policy for student athletes in 1989, requiring students to submit to urine testing for illegal drugs before participating in athletics. The policy was put in place in response to a perceived drug problem within the school district. Several students and their parents challenged the policy, arguing that it violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The case made its way to the Supreme Court, where the Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Vernonia School District. In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that the drug testing policy was reasonable and did serve a legitimate governmental interest. The Court found that the school district had a legitimate interest in promoting the health and safety of its student athletes and preventing drug use, and that the drug testing policy was a reasonable means of achieving those goals.
The Court also noted that student athletes, by virtue of their participation in athletics, had a lesser expectation of privacy than the general student population. This was because they were subject to greater physical examinations and were already subject to other rules and regulations related to their participation in athletics.
The Vernonia School District v. Acton case was significant because it established the constitutionality of drug testing for student athletes and set a precedent for other schools to follow. It also highlighted the balance between individual privacy rights and the government's interest in promoting the health and safety of its citizens.
Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton
What expectations are legitimate varies, of course, with context, id. In light of all this evidence of drug use by particular students, there is a substantial basis for concluding that a vigorous regime of suspicion-based testing for which the District appears already to have rules in place, see Record, Exh. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the Policy violated both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and Article I, § 9, of the Oregon Constitution. As for physical examinations, the practicability of a suspicion requirement is highly doubtful because the conditions for which these physical exams ordinarily search, such as latent heart conditions, do not manifest themselves in observable behavior the way school drug use does. Protection of privacy, not evenhandedness, was then and is now the touchstone of the Fourth Amendment. By contrast, intrusive, blanket searches of school children, most of whom are innocent, for evidence of serious wrongdoing are not part of any traditional school function of which I am aware. Far from acknowledging anything special about individualized suspicion, the Court treats a suspicionbased regime as if it were just any run-of-the-mill, less intrusive alternative-that is, an alternative that officials may bypass if the lesser intrusion, in their reasonable estimation, is outweighed by policy concerns unrelated to practicability.
VERNONIA SCHOOL DIST. 47J v. ACTON
The laboratory does not know the identity of the students whose samples it tests. The District's own elaborate disciplinary scheme is reflected in its handbook, which, among other things, lists the following disciplinary "problem areas" carrying serious sanctions: "DEFIANCE OF AUTHORITY,""DISORDERLY OR DISRUPTIVE CONDUCT INCLUDING FOUL LANGUAGE,""AUTOMOBILE USE OR MISUSE,""FORGERY OR LYING,""GAMBLING,""THEFT,""TOBACCO,""MISCHIEF,""VANDALISM,""RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING,""MENACING OR HARASSMENT,""ASSAULT,""FIGHTING,""WEAPONS,""EXTORTION,""EXPLOSIVE DEVICES," and "ARSON. The Court constantly observes that the School District's drug-testing policy applies only to students who voluntarily participate in interscholastic athletics. To such a scheme, suspicion-based drug testing would be only a minor addition. These conditions are nearly identical to those typically encountered in public restrooms, which men, women, and especially schoolchildren use daily. Students began to speak out about their attraction to the drug culture, and to boast that there was nothing the school could do about it. Students began to speak out about their attraction to the drug culture, and to boast that there was nothing the school could do about it.
Vernonia Sch. Dist. 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995).
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most public schools "provide vision and hearing screening and dental and dermatological checks. It can be argued that, in Skinner, the disclosure went only to the medical personnel taking the sample, and the Government personnel analyzing it, see id. Respondents argue, however, that the District's Policy is in fact more intrusive than this suggests, because it requires the students, if they are to avoid sanctions for a falsely positive test, to identify in advance prescription medications they are taking. The most significant element in this case is the first we discussed: that the Policy was undertaken in furtherance of the government's responsibilities, under a public school system, as guardian and tutor of children entrusted to its care. When parents place minor children in private schools for their education, the teachers and administrators of those schools stand in loco parentis over the children entrusted to them. The most significant element in this case is the first we discussed: that the Policy was undertaken in furtherance of the government's responsibilities, under a public school system, as guardian and tutor of children entrusted to its care. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist.
Vernonia School District v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995)
See Skinner, 489 U. What expectations are legitimate varies, of course, with context, id. To be sure, the Fourth Amendment, in the Warrant Clause, prohibits by name only searches by general warrants. Monitors may though do not always watch the student while he produces the sample, and they listen for normal sounds of urination. As stated, a suspicion-based search regime is not just any less intrusive alternative; the individualized suspicion requirement has a legal pedigree as old as the Fourth Amendment itself, and it may not be easily cast aside in the name of policy concerns. Correspondingly, the most severe sanction allowed under the District's policy is suspension from extracurricular athletic programs. The General Authorization Form that respondents refused to sign, which refusal was the basis for James's exclusion from the sports program, said only in relevant part : "I.
Vernonia School Dist. 47J v. Acton :: 515 U.S. 646 (1995) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center
Public school locker rooms, the usual sites for these activities, are not notable for the privacy they afford. Accordingly, we upheld the suspicionless regime at issue in Skinner on the firm understanding that a requirement of individualized suspicion for testing train operators for drug or alcohol impairment following serious train accidents would be unworkable because "the scene of a serious rail accident is chaotic. C In the fall of 1991,. We granted certiorari to decide whether this violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Indeed, the price we pay is higher in the criminal context, given that police do not closely observe the entire class of potential search targets all citizens in the area and must ordinarily adhere to the rigid requirements of a warrant and probable cause.
Vernonia School District v. Acton (1995)
In addition, once each week of the season the names of the athletes are placed in a "pool" from which a student, with the supervision of two adults, blindly draws the names of 10% of the athletes for random testing. . The high number of disciplinary referrals in the record in this case illustrates the District's robust scheme in action. We caution against the assumption that suspicionless drug testing will readily pass constitutional muster in other contexts. The requirements that public school children submit to physical examinations and be vaccinated indicate that they have a lesser privacy expectation with regard to medical examinations and procedures than the general population. In the fall of 1991, respondent James Acton, then a seventh grader, signed up to play football at one of the District's grade schools. Students wishing to play sports must sign a form consenting to the testing and must obtain the written consent of their parents.
We The Students: Vernonia School District v. Acton
Particularly with regard to medical examinations and proce- dures, therefore, "students within the school environment have a lesser expectation of privacy than members of the population generally. Cuddihy 835, 1518, 1552, n. I A Petitioner Vernonia School District 47J District operates one high school and three grade schools in the logging community of Vernonia, Oregon. The Fourth Amendment does not protect all subjective expectations of privacy, but only those that society recognizes as "legitimate. Moreover, there would be a reduced concern for the accusatory nature of the search, because the Court's feared "badge of shame," ante, at 2396, would already exist, due to the antecedent accusation and finding of severe disruption. In making these policy arguments, of course, the Court sidesteps powerful, countervailing privacy concerns.
But I would hope that a single assertion of this sort would not serve as an adequate basis on which to uphold mass, suspicionless drug testing of two entire grades of student athletes-in Vernonia and, by the Court's reasoning, in other school districts as well. In my view, it is not open to judges or government officials to decide on policy grounds which is better and which is worse. At the time of the framing, for example, the fact that a child's parents refused to authorize a private schoolmaster's search of the child would probably have rendered any such search unlawful; after all, at common law, the source of the schoolmaster's authority over a child was a delegation of the parent's authority. If a sample tests positive, a second test is administered as soon as possible to confirm the result. Under the District's Policy, male students produce samples at a urinal along a wall. Moreover, the drugs for which the samples are screened are standard, and do not vary according to the identity of the student.