Essay on Drug Testing in Public Colleges

1940 Words 8 Pages
Drug testing in public schools is an issue that the courts have had the main role in
regulating. The legislative and executive branches don’t give much direction on this
issue, which leaves it up to the courts to decide. The issue of public college drug testing
is one that has not received much attention because no public college has implemented a
drug testing program for students that were not athletes. Linn State Technical College
(LSTC), a small college in rural Missouri, broke this precedent and made headlines this
year when it implemented a mandatory drug testing program for all students. The
program was implimented to ensure the safety of students that will be working with
heavy machinery. With dangerous
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Courts consider drug testing a
search and seizure because one’s urine is seized and searched (Vernonia). However, the
fourth amendment only protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the
safety concerns of Linn State Technical College certainly seem reasonable. However, a
drug testing program like the one implemented by Linn State Technical College is
unreasonable because the tests are given to all students, not only those who are suspected
of drug use. Also, all students must submit to the test, making it 1) suspicionless, and 2)
mandatory and blanket. This first term, suspiconless, is one that was coined in previous
drug testing cases to refer to the testing of a student who is not suspected of drug use.
Public colleges must uphold the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable
search and seizure because the court decided in Mapp v. Ohio that the Fourth amendment
applies to the states by way of the due process clause of the 14th amendment (Mapp).
Because public colleges are state-funded, they are considered agents of the state and
therefore they cannot violate the Fourth Amendment.

The second reason that blanket drug testing at a public college is unconstitutional
because it goes beyond the precedent set by previous drug testing cases. Many lay people
are familiar with the legal ability of public high schools to drug test students involved…