DRUG TESTING IN SCHOOLS
The issue of drug testing in public schools has become the most debated issue in the United States. This issue raises questions regarding the protection of the students' civil liberties and the moral obligations the schools have to parents, students and society. Schools are under pressure to do something about the drug use in the schools by the students. The school administrators are being forced to deal with both alcohol and drug use. Statistics indicate that drug use among teenagers in the United States is higher than any other society. Drunk driving is the primary cause of death among teenagers.
Random drug testing policies in the public schools have brought about numerous lawsuits by students and their parents. The schools say that random drug testing is a program used for drug prevention and deterrence. At this time, little research has been done to determine whether or not random drug testing is effective.
The courts have recognized that drug use by students is a national concern and that putting a stop or attempting to deter drug use must be accomplished. The courts acknowledge that drug and alcohol uses affects the user, student body, faculty and disrupts the educational process. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that testing of student athletes is constitutional (Veronia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995). The drug testing concerns are twofold.
One concern is that the drug testing violates the students' Fourth Amendment right. The Fourth Amendment protects the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." The question now becomes whether the Fourth Amendment prevents a public school district from requiring students to take random testing for illegal use.
A second concern is the violation of an individual's Fourteenth...