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

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 822 (2002)

Breyer, J., concurring

emphasize several underlying considerations, which I understand to be consistent with the Court's opinion.


In respect to the school's need for the drug testing program, I would emphasize the following: First, the drug problem in our Nation's schools is serious in terms of size, the kinds of drugs being used, and the consequences of that use both for our children and the rest of us. See, e. g., White House Nat. Drug Control Strategy 25 (Feb. 2002) (drug abuse leads annually to about 20,000 deaths, $160 billion in economic costs); Department of Health and Human Services, L. Johnston et al., Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use, Overview of Key Findings 5 (2001) (Monitoring the Future) (more than one-third of all students have used illegal drugs before completing the eighth grade; more than half before completing high school); ibid. (about 30% of all students use drugs other than marijuana prior to completing high school (emphasis added)); National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Malignant Neglect: Substance Abuse and America's Schools 15 (Sept. 2001) (Malignant Neglect) (early use leads to later drug dependence); Nat. Drug Control Strategy, supra, at 1 (same).

Second, the government's emphasis upon supply side interdiction apparently has not reduced teenage use in recent years. Compare R. Perl, CRS Issue Brief for Congress, Drug Control: International Policy and Options CRS-1 (Dec. 12, 2001) (supply side programs account for 66% of the federal drug control budget), with Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 2001 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study: Key Findings 1 (showing increase in teenage drug use in early 1990's, peak in 1997, holding steady thereafter); 2000-2001 PRIDE National Summary: Alcohol, Tobacco, Illicit Drugs, Violence and Related Behaviors, Grades 6 thru 12 (Jul. 16, 2002), natsum00.pdf, p. 15 (slight rise in high school drug use in


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