Drug Testing for School Athletes
Drug use in school athletics has become a substantial problem in today’s society. With the rising pressure to succeed and the high level intensity in athletics, it does not come to a surprise that so many student–athletes are giving in to drugs. Many schools that are faced with drug use are turning to mandatory drug tests for student-athletes; however mandatory drug tests are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and drug testing reverses the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty. In order to protect the rights of the American people, drug testing student-athletes without suspicion and without sufficient evidence should not be introduced into school athletics due to the fact that it violates the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
Without suspicion of drug use, schools cannot require drug tests of athletes, because it violates their Fourth Amendment right. According to the US Bill Of Rights: “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.” (Cayton). This means that you need probable cause or suspicion of drug use before you can require a drug test of someone. School athletes should not be subject to unjust searches based on non-existent evidence. The searches would be both unlawful and unreasonable thus making the policy unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, there are many people who oppose this policy, and believe that student-athlete drug testing is needed to protect the common good and ensure the safety of everyone (Mikula). However, no policy should be able to violate the constitution and infringe on the student’s privacy. An example of this is from a court case involving a Texas School District. The Texas School argued that they needed a policy to test student-athletes for drugs to help control the “drug crisis” going on at their school. The court ruled that the school failed to demonstrate the need for drug testing without suspicion and the policy was deemed unconstitutional by the court (American Civil Liberties Union).
Schools cannot test student-athletes without suspicion because it’s unlawful, unreasonable and unconstitutional. Drug testing of school athletes reverses the legal principle that we are innocent until proven guilty which thus going against one of the most fundamental concepts of criminal law. In the Fifth Amendment it states: “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” (Cayton). This statement implies that it is guaranteed to us that we are to be assumed innocent until proven guilty. Some people might argue that schools shouldn’t need overwhelming evidence to ensure the safety of their students (High School and Youth Trends). However, it is clearly outlined within the Constitution that in order to test student-athletes for drugs, there must be compelling, and convincing evidence to base the accusations on or else the due process of law guaranteed to us in the Fifth Amendment is violated (Innocent Until Proven Guilty).
Drug testing athletes without probable cause essentially tells students that they are guilty until they prove their innocence by taking a drug test. Without sufficient evidence to base accusations on, drug testing student-athletes is essentially asking them to provide the evidence of their own guilt. This is clearly in violation of the Fifth Amendment which clearly states that no person shall force to provide evidence to prove their own guilt. Within the Fifth Amendment it declares: “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…” (Cayton). Since the school possesses no such evidence to incriminate the athletes, asking them to submit a drug test is essentially asking them to provide the evidence that will prove their guilt. Some people believe that schools have the right to force students to participate in mandatory drug tests to protect the school as a whole, but in reality the School possesses no right to invade on the individual rights of the students themselves.
An example of drug testing violating the Fifth Amendment is a court case involving a Pennsylvania School. The court ruled the schools drug testing policy unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment (American Civil Liberties Union). The school was ultimately forcing the students to submit to drug tests without compelling evidence. The students were basically providing the evidence of their guilt which is a violation of the constitution. Mandatory Drug testing within schools reverses the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty and also violates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution. Without suspicion of drug use, there is no probable cause to test student-athletes for drugs, thus violating the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful searches.
Drug testing student-athletes without acquiring sufficient evidence to base accusations on, is essentially asking them to provide the evidence of their own guilt which violates the Fifth Amendment right to protect against self-incrimination. Drug testing without compelling evidence also reverses the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty. Drug testing without pre-existing evidence tells students that they are guilty until they prove their innocence by taking a drug test. In order to uphold and maintain the rules and rights given to us by the Constitution, drug testing student-athletes must be deemed unconstitutional on all counts.