ACLU-TN Cooperating Attorneys: Gerald Gulley and Chris Oldham of Gulley and Oldham
David Higgins’ daughter, a Roane County student, was subjected to eight “random” drug tests without cause over the course of several years because she participated in school athletics. All eight tests were negative. After speaking to the school board to no avail, Higgins sought assistance from ACLU-TN.
ACLU-TN sent a demand letter to the school board asserting that the school system’s “random” drug testing violated a Tennessee statute in effect at the time that explicitly prohibited such drug testing of student athletes. The school system’s drug testing policy also raised serious constitutional concerns regarding the students’ right to privacy and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. ACLU-TN’s letter gave the school board thirty days to change its policy or be subject to a legal challenge.
The board initially voted to keep the policy intact, but when the rules committee of the board met separately, they ultimately changed the language to include both opt in and opt out provisions in the school’s drug testing policy.
The Higgins family was extremely pleased with the outcome and opted their daughter out of the drug testing scheme.
ACLU Demands Roane County Abandon Illegal Random Drug Testing of Students (September 10, 2008)
ACLU-Tn Letter to Roane County Schools (September 10, 2008)