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Drug testing of students most often arises in two circumstances: tests conducted when a school official reasonably believes that a student is under the influence of a controlled substance not permitted by law or school policy, and tests conducted pursuant to a policy permitting random, suspicionless drug tests. Usually, the drugs targeted are those that are considered serious and dangerous, such as marijuana and alcohol, but not nicotine. Likely the most popular test implemented is urinalysis. Other drug tests include searches with breathalyzers and analysis of hair samples. With some limitations in policy and practice, student drug testing is lawful in both suspicion-based and random circumstances.

Suspicion-Based Searches

Suspicion-based searches of students are governed, largely, by the Supreme Court decision in New Jersey v. T. L. O. ...

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