Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton

The U.S. Supreme Court's judgment in Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton (1995) stands out as its first of two decisions on the important topic of drug testing of students. In Acton, the Court held that a school board's random drug-testing policy for student athletes was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

Facts of the Case

Acton began when, in response to parental concerns of increased drug use among students, a school board in Oregon instituted a drug-testing policy for student athletes. The policy focused on student athletes because they were leaders of the drug culture at their high school and there were at least two incidents wherein members of teams were injured due to the effects of drug use. The policy, which contained safeguards to protect the ...

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