Social Issues / 4th Amendment

4th Amendment

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Autor:  anton  28 November 2010
Tags:  Amendment
Words: 1096   |   Pages: 5
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The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment is 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.

This amendment basically states that we as Americans have to right to be secure as people, in our houses, and within our own private documents. It also protects us against unjust and unfair searches and seizures of our own private possessions. It also states that no warrant to allow these actions will be given unless there is probable cause that is backed up by oath or confirmation, specifically stating what is to be searched, or seized.


This was a case between a school district versus a student athlete who refused to take a mandatory drug test imposed on the athletes by the district. The issue started when school officials started noticing more and more students using drugs, and acting out in class, along with delinquent behavior. They began to glamorize drugs, and often boast about using them. Until finally the school realized that the interscholastic athletics were in a complete state of rebellion. They believed that the use of drugs was in turn, the source of the problem that was occurring. They decided that the athletes were a main source of where the drugs came from. So they decided to make a mandatory drug-testing rule. The school board had a meeting with parents and staff a proposed Student Athlete Drug Policy. The parents voted for the policy unanimously. The policy applied to all interscholastic athletes. Students wishing to join were forced to sign a consent form along with their parents.

The students were to be tested in the beginning of the season. Also athletes names were to be chosen at random once a week to be tested at random. Those selected are notified and tested that same day, if possible. The student then enters an empty locker room with a adult monitor of the same sex. Each one boy selected creates a sample at a urinal, remaining fully clothed with his back to the monitor, who stands approximately twelve to fifteen feet behind the student. Monitors may watch the student while he creates a sample, and they listen for normal sounds of urination. Girls make the samples in an enclosed bathroom stall, so that they can be heard but not observed. After the sample is produced, it is given to the monitor, who checks it for temperature and tampering and then transfers it to a vial.They are then sent to a lab where they test the samples for amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. Other drugs, such as LSD, may be screened at the request of the District, but the identity of a particular student does not determine which drugs will be tested. The laboratory's results are 99.94% accurate. The laboratory does not know the identity of the students whose samples it tests. Its job is to mail written test reports only to the superintendent and to give test results to District personnel by telephone only after the requesting official recites a code confirming his authority. Only the superintendent, principals, vice-principals, and athletic directors have access to test results, and the results are not kept for more than one year.If the test comes out positive, a second test is taken as soon as possible to confirm the result. If the second test is negative, they drop it. If the second test is positive, the athlete's parents are notified, and the school principal meets with the family. The student is then given the of; participating for six weeks in an assistance program that includes weekly urinalysis, or; being suspended from athletics for the remainder of the current season and the next athletic season. The student is then retested before the start of the next athletic season for which he or she is eligible. The Policy states that a second offense results in automatic consequences of option two, a third offense results suspension of that current season along with the next two.

James Acton signed up for football in the fall of 1991 at one of the districts grade schools. But he was denied participation when he and his parents did not agree to sign the testing consent forms. So they decided to take legal action and sue the district seeking “declaratory and injunctive relief from enforcement of the Policy on the grounds that it violated the Fourth Amendment.”

A district court denied the claims on the merits and dismissed the case. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the Policy violated both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and Article I, §9, of the Oregon Constitution.

The significance was that it did not allow the district to continue testing students for drugs because it was a violation of their privacy and the schools were public, so it sort of set a precedent for others schools thinking about doing the same.


I believe that because the tests only looked for standard drugs and not medical conditions and they were only released to a limited group, it was unfair. There might be a conflict of interest if the group either likes or dislikes the student they would be able to easily choose regardless of the test results because they would be the only ones who knew the results.

I also believe that since it is a public school and there are no contracts that students should be able to do as they like at home or when they are not on campus or at a school function. They should not be tested outside of classroom subjects. I feel that that is a violation of our privacy at home and as people.

But, if I did agree with the drug testing I would have to say that punishment would be a little harsh. As a student athlete myself in high school, a season would be a long time and especially two seasons. I also don’t think I would be comfortable with someone standing behind me while I was peeing I would feel a little violated.

And if they wanted to do drug tests I feel like they should do it to all students not just athletes because that is kind of discriminatory.


“Fourth Amendment”

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