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Student Drug Use: Ethical & Legal Perspectives Amanda Davis & Vickie Kummer 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Drug Use: Ethical & Legal Perspectives Amanda Davis & Vickie Kummer 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Drug Use: Ethical & Legal Perspectives Amanda Davis & Vickie Kummer 2004

2 What would you do? A student informs you that he is smoking marijuana. He requests that you do not tell his parents. Can you honor this request?

3 Student Drug Use Statistics Reported marijuana use by high school seniors, 2003 In the past 30 days: 21.2% In the past 12 months: 34.9% Source: University of Michigan, Drug Use from the Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003, Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003

4 Statistics continued... Number of High School Seniors That has Used Marijuana at Least Once in Lifetime: 46.1% Source: University of Michigan, Drug Use from the Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003, Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003

5 Statistics continued... Between 1992 and 2003 past-month use of marijuana increased from: 12% to 21% among high school seniors. 8% to 17% among 10th graders. 4% to 8% among 8th graders. Source: University of Michigan, the Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003, 2004.Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003

6 Statistics continued... Percent of high school seniors reporting they could find marijuana fairly easily or very easily, 2003: 87.1% Source: University of Michigan, the Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003, 2004.Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Key Findings 2003

7 Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act Protects records of persons receiving drug or alcohol abuse treatment. It applies to any program assisted in any way by the federal government. These requirements apply to all records relating to the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any student involved in any federally assisted substance abuse program—including school-based identification.

8 Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act Records must not be disclosed without written consent of the student. Three exceptions to this rule are: 1. To medical personnel in the case of a genuine medical emergency. 2. To qualified personnel conducting scientific research or audits without individual identities disclosed. 3. To any person with an appropriate court order. Additionally, treatment records can not be used to conduct a criminal investigation or substantiate criminal charges.

9 Does this mean that you can grant the student’s request to keep their marijuana use from their parents?

10 It’s not that easy!

11 Duval Country School Board Policy Duval County’s policy regarding reporting student drug use is as follows: “School Board employees shall report, in good faith, to the principal or designees any suspected unlawful use, possession, or sale of any controlled substance…”

12 Drug Testing in Schools Vernonia v. Acton, th grader wanted to try out for the football team. Refused to sign a drug-test consent form. Parents argued that the drug test invaded privacy rights.

13 Vernonia v. Acton The court ruled….. –Subjecting student athletes to suspicionless, random drug testing was constitutional. –Students who want to play sports have a reduced expectation of privacy and should expect intrusions. –School districts have an interest in providing a drug-free environment.

14 How did the court reach this decision? Student drug testing is a search. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the government to make only reasonable searches. New Jersey v. T.L.O., 1985

15 Defining Reasonable 1. Nature of the privacy interest: –School has the power to supervise and control students. –Privacy is given up in school by taking physical exams and receiving vaccines. – Privacy is given up by being subjected to things that the general student body is not subjected to.

16 Defining Reasonable 2. Character of the intrusion: –Conditions of the sample collection were similar to those encountered in a public restroom. –Tested only for drugs. –Results were turned over only to those school personnel who needed to know.

17 Defining Reasonable 3. Governmental Concern: –Harmful effects on the user, other students, athletes, and the faculty. –Athletes are considered role models. –If students are rebelling, it must be a problem.

18 Drug Testing in Schools Board of Education of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 2002 High school student who objected to random drug testing. She was a member of the school choir, marching band, academic team, and the National Honor Society.

19 B.O.E Pottawatomie v. Earls The court ruled…… –Subjecting students who participate in extracurricular activities to suspicionless, random drug testing was constitutional. –Students who want to participate in activities have a reduced expectation of privacy and should expect intrusions. –School districts have an interest in providing a drug-free environment.

20 Defining Reasonable Justice Thomas: “Students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities voluntarily subject themselves to many of the same intrusions on their privacy as do athletes.” Same three factors used in Vernonia case: 1. Nature of the privacy interest 2. Character of the intrusion 3. Governmental concern

21 Drug Testing in Schools Tannahill v. Lockney School District, 2001 Suspicionless drug-testing policy for all middle level and high school students is unconstitutional. Character of intrusion is low….BUT, the student body as a whole has a greater privacy interest.


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