Vernonia School District vs. Acton

Vernonia School District vs. Acton

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  • James Acton was a 12 year old 7th grader at Washington Grade School in Vernonia, Oregon. He wanted to try out for the football team. His school though required every student athlete to take a drug test. They also made them take it throughout the year at random times.
  • James's parents didn't like this. They refused to let him get tested. They said there was no evidence that he used drugs or alcohol. The school suspended him for sports that season
  • James along with his parents decided to sue the school district. They argued that mandatory drug testing without suspicion of illegal activity constituted an unreasonable search. They thought it fell under the fourth amendment
  • The Supreme Courtsided with the school. Schools must balance privacy rights to keep campuses safe. Also it helps keep student athletes away from drugs 
  • The drug test policy only limited the invasion of privacy. They have to surrender some privacy rights. Students who participate in school athletics have reasons to expect intrusions upon normal
  • Joining a team usually requires a physical exam. Along with maintaining a grade point average. Athletes also have to be willing to change and shower in the locker room. "School sports are not bashful", said the Court.
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