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Drug Testing in Schools According to a study conducted by the University of Michigans Institute for Social Research among the graduating class of 1997 543 percent of students had used an illicit drug by the time they reached their senior year of high school a dramatic increase from 407 percent in 1992 The study also reported an increase among high school seniors that had used an illicit drug from 271 percent in 1992 to 424 percent in 19971 It is a fact that drug abuse continues to be a growing problem in our nations high schools today The question is how do we prevent it Student activity drug testing policies is one way that schools dealt have this problem This controversial issue was addressed In a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in the Board of Education of Pottawatomie v Earls The question before the Supreme Court was to determine whether the Fourth Amendment prevented public schools from requiring students who participate in non-athletic competitions to agree to random urine testing for illegal drug use The Supreme Court determined that the Oklahoma School District Drug Testing Policy is a reasonable means of furthering the School Districts important interest in preventing and deterring drug use among its school children and does not violate the Fourth Amendment2 This ruling is different from an earlier Supreme Court decision because the school did not have to prove an existing drug problem in order to enforce the policy In the 1995 decision Vernonia School District v Wayne Acton the Supreme Court determined that random suspicionless drug testing of students participating in athletics was permissible This was because the school was able to prove to the court that there was a growing drug problem in their district and that the athletes were the leaders of this drug culture Again the legal question facing the Supreme Court was whether this violated the students Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment
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