844 BOARD OF ED. OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DIST.
NO. 92 OF POTTAWATOMIE CTY. v. EARLS Ginsburg, J., dissenting
text." 515 U. S., at 653 (quoting Griffin, 483 U. S., at 873). The Court observed:
"[W]hile children assuredly do not 'shed their constitutional rights . . . at the schoolhouse gate,' Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U. S. 503, 506 (1969), the nature of those rights is what is appropriate for children in school. . . . Fourth Amendment rights, no less than First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, are different in public schools than elsewhere; the 'reasonableness' inquiry cannot disregard the schools' custodial and tutelary responsibility for children." 515 U. S., at 655-656 (other citations omitted).
The Vernonia Court concluded that a public school district facing a disruptive and explosive drug abuse problem sparked by members of its athletic teams had "special needs" that justified suspicionless testing of district athletes as a condition of their athletic participation.
This case presents circumstances dispositively different from those of Vernonia. True, as the Court stresses, Tecumseh students participating in competitive extracurricular activities other than athletics share two relevant characteristics with the athletes of Vernonia. First, both groups attend public schools. "[O]ur decision in Vernonia," the Court states, "depended primarily upon the school's custodial responsibility and authority." Ante, at 831; see also ante, at 840 (Breyer, J., concurring) (school districts act in loco parentis). Concern for student health and safety is basic to the school's caretaking, and it is undeniable that "drug use carries a variety of health risks for children, including death from overdose." Ante, at 836-837 (majority opinion).
Those risks, however, are present for all schoolchildren. Vernonia cannot be read to endorse invasive and suspicionless drug testing of all students upon any evidence of drug use, solely because drugs jeopardize the life and health of those who use them. Many children, like many adults, en-Page: Index Previous 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Next
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