Board of Ed. of Independent School Dist. No. 92 of Pottawatomie Cty. v. Earls, 536 U. S. 822 (2002)

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results lead to the imposition of discipline or have any academic consequences. Rather, the only consequence of a failed drug test is to limit the student's privilege of participating in extracurricular activities. Pp. 832-834.

(d) Finally, considering the nature and immediacy of the govern-ment's concerns and the efficacy of the Policy in meeting them, see Vernonia, 515 U. S., at 660, the Court concludes that the Policy effectively serves the School District's interest in protecting its students' safety and health. Preventing drug use by schoolchildren is an important governmental concern. See id., at 661-662. The health and safety risks identified in Vernonia apply with equal force to Tecumseh's children. The School District has also presented specific evidence of drug use at Tecumseh schools. Teachers testified that they saw students who appeared to be under the influence of drugs and heard students speaking openly about using drugs. A drug dog found marijuana near the school parking lot. Police found drugs or drug paraphernalia in a car driven by an extracurricular club member. And the school board president reported that people in the community were calling the board to discuss the "drug situation." Respondents consider the proffered evidence insufficient and argue that there is no real and immediate interest to justify a policy of drug testing nonathletes. But a demonstrated drug abuse problem is not always necessary to the validity of a testing regime, even though some showing of a problem does shore up an assertion of a special need for a suspicionless general search program. Chandler v. Miller, 520 U. S. 305, 319. The School District has provided sufficient evidence to shore up its program. Furthermore, this Court has not required a particularized or pervasive drug problem before allowing the government to conduct suspicionless drug testing. See, e. g., Treasury Employees v. Von Raab, 489 U. S. 656, 673-674. The need to prevent and deter the substantial harm of childhood drug use provides the necessary immediacy for a school testing policy. Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the School District to enact this particular drug testing policy. Pp. 834-838.

242 F. 3d 1264, reversed.

Thomas, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 838. O'Connor, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Souter, J., joined, post, p. 842. Ginsburg, J., filed a dissent-

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