Vernonia School District v. Acton

Vernonia School District v. Acton
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  • This is twelve-year-old James Acton who wants to try out for his school's football team. However, he doesn't know that he needs to take a drug test to be on the team.
  • Vernonia School District v. Acton 515 US 646 (1995)
  • Hi, I'm here to try out for the football team.
  • Sure, but you'll have to take a drug test before you try out. Drug tests will also be administered randomly throughout the year.
  • Schools should have a balance of the students’ right to privacy and the need to keep the student-athletes safe from drugs. 
  • James' parents did not let him take the drug test since he doesn't use drugs. As a result, the school does not let James try out for any sports for the season.
  • Hello, this is the parents of James Acton. We do not want our son tested for drugs because he does not use drugs or alcohol.
  • No drug test means no trying out for a sport. Your son has been suspended from sports for the season.
  • because he does not use drugs or alcohol.
  • Now, James and his parents are in court suing Vernonia school district since they feel that required drug testing without suspicion of the student taking drugs is against the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches. The Supreme Court is dealing with their case.
  • Under the Fourth Amendment, necessary drug testing without a doubt of unlawful actions is an unreasonable search and is therefore unconstitutional.
  • The students who decide to participate in athletics should be okay with having some of their privacy invaded.
  • The Supreme Court ends up ruling in favor of Vernonia school district. They decide that it is constitutional for schools to require drug testing.
  • The nine justices in the Supreme Court discuss what they think of the case.
  • We rule in favor of Vernonia school district. It is constitutional for schools to require drug testing.
  • The drug-test does not take away much privacy from the student-athletes.
  • In a 6-to-3 decision, the Supreme Court ends up ruling in favor of Vernonia school district. Thus, the Court found that it is constitutional for the school district to conduct random drug searches on its student-athletes without suspicion. 
  • We rule in favor of Vernonia school district. Drug testing serves an important government interest by deterring drug use by students in schools.
  • This case impacts the life of anyone trying out for a school sport. Thanks to this case, they know that if there is mandatory drug testing, the drug testing is constitutional and that they would need to take it to join a sports team. The case also changes the meaning of the Fourth Amendment for students.
  • Hi, we're here to try out for the football team.
  • Sure, but you'll have to take a drug test before you try out. Drug tests will also be administered randomly throughout the year.
  • That's fine with us.
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