In 1998, Tecumseh School District of Oklahoma adopted a policy that required all middle- and high-school students who wished to participate in competitive extracurricular activities to submit urine for drug testing.
Two students at Tecumseh High School, Lindsay Earls & Daniel James, and their parents filed suit against the school board, challenging the policy as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Argued March 19, 2002.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Prior to October 1998, the requirements at Tecumseh High School for joining student activities depended on a student's academic performance, interest, the specific nature of each individual activity, and/or a physical exam.
JUSTICE GINSBURG dissented, stating, "' The legality of a search of a student,' this Court has instructed, 'should depend simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search.'"
June 27, 2002
JUSTICE THOMAS delivered the majority opinion of the school board's policy to "detect and prevent drug use among its students."