VernoniaSchool District 47j v. Acton
Pertinentfacts of the case
VernoniaSchool District had designed a policy that called for students whointended to participate in interscholastic athletics to do aurinalysis drug test. The institution feared that substance abuse hadhampered the school performance and also increased athletics-relatedinjuries (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).It also cited that the athletes were the leaders in the drug culture.Plaintiff James Acton who was a student had intentions ofrepresenting the school in athletics. He was ordered to undergourinalysis but in collaboration with his parents refused the testprocedures and subsequently denied the chance to participate (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003). He filed a suit against Vernonia in a FederalDistrict Court.
Theissue raised was whether the school’s policy violated the FourthAmendment which bans unreasonable searches and seizures. Cottenand Wolohan (2003) indicate that theFourteenth Amendment extends the statute to all institutions andstate offices.
TheSupreme Court upheld the policy and that the search was reasonableand met the Fourth Amendment’s requirements. The explanations ofthe court were that the officials in Vernonia were also agents of thestate and due to their custodial and tutelary association with thestudents they had a mandate of taking care of them (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).The court additionally found that the school safeguarded the privacyof the athletes since they positioned the monitors appropriatelywhile the students collected the urine samples. It argued that sincethe management showed an interest to ensure the safety of thestudents by avoiding drug use, it articulated a significanceinterest.
TheUniversity of Colorado v. Derdeyn
PertinentFacts regarding the Case
Similarto the Vernonia School District 47j v. Acton the case regardsinvoluntary urinalysis tests for students participating in athleticswith the management of the University of Colorado being the defendant(Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).Derdeyn accused the institution of its habit of subjecting studentsto a random urinalysis examinations based on reasonable suspicion.
Issuesin the Case
Thecentral issue in the case was whether the University of Coloradodishonored the Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution through itsconduction of the random urinalysis tests without any suspicion ofdrug abuse (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).Another query was whether the search was reasonable just like in thecase of VernoniaSchool District 47j v. Acton.A further issue raised was whether the institution exercised privacywhile conducting the tests.
Theinitial court ruling stated that the institution dishonored thestate’s protection for individual’s privacy as well as the dueprocess. It also accused the University of Colorado of forcing theathletes to comply with their policy (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).It issued an injunction against it, but the institution approachedthe Supreme Court to appeal the ruling.
Theuniversity lost again. The Supreme Court concluded that it violatedthe United States Fourth Amendments requirements. It amounted to asearch and that there was a privacy invasion. However, onreasonableness, the court declared that the exercise was done for astate interest beyond ordinary law enforcement needs (Cotten& Wolohan, 2003).On further inquest on the balance of governmental interest and theindividual one, the court stated that the institution portrayed someinterest in safeguarding the safety and health of the athletes. Theonly thing that they did not adhere to was guaranteeing the privacyof their exercises. The tests results were distributed to thirdparties, for instance to the parents, head coaches and the schooladministration. The disclosure of the outcomes of the examinationsviolated the rights of these individuals since they had notauthorized it.
Conclusively,there is a similarity in the ruling on the reasonableness of the twocases where the Juries concluded that the institutions served theinterests of the students. They included safety and their health.However, it would be appropriate if the exercises were done atnational levels where issues like privacy would be upheld. The twoinstitutions coercing the students to undergo the examination is aviolation of their rights. Though it is always right to safeguard thehealth and safety of the young people, it should be voluntary anddone at national levels.
Cotten,D., & Wolohan, J. T. (2003). Lawfor Recreation and sports managers.Iowa: Kendall Hunt.