High School Drug Testing: Deterrence or Privacy Invasion?

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The Supreme Court is mulling over the legality of mandatory drug testing for high school students in a case that some fear could have far-reaching effects in schools across the nation.

The case involves a teenager from Oklahoma, who refused to take a drug test that was required of her because she was a member of her high school's choir. In 1995, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of drug testing for high school athletes, but this is the first time that they are weighing in on the testing of non-athletes.

The debate was fierce during the hearing, which was held last week. Justice Anthony Kennedy traded sharp personal barbs with the teenager's attorney. Meanwhile, Justice David Souter told the Oklahoma school district's lawyer that her argument could lead to "every child in every school in the United States" being tested for drugs.

This hour, we look inside the Supreme Court's deliberations on high school drug testing. Should teenagers be monitored for drug use? Or are school districts getting carried away and unnecessarily prying into students' private lives?


Graham Boyd, ACLU lawyer, director of ACLU's Drug Policy Litigation Project

argued the students case to the Supreme Court last week

Julie Underwood, General counsel, National School Boards Association

Lisa Brady, Principal of the Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey

This program aired on March 25, 2002.


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