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Can my school legally require me to get a drug test?

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Yes, your school can legally drug test you if (1) there is a reasonable suspicion that you are using drugs, or (2) if you participate in certain competitive extracurricular activities.

If you feel that you are being subject to an unlawful drug screening, you have the right to refuse the test as long as you are able to prove that there is no reasonable suspicion. However, this only applies if you are not an athlete or participate in another extracurricular that is allowed to screen participants for drugs.

In 2002, the Supreme Court affirmed the legality of administering random drug tests to students who engage in "competitive" extracurricular activities, including athletics, glee club, and cheerleading. The Court stated that as students volunteer to participate in these activities, they are also volunteering to be subjected to drug screenings.

For the rest of the student body, however, the law is more vague. In general, in order for a school to be permitted to perform a drug test on a student, there must be a reasonable suspicion that that specific individual is using drugs. If you are being subjected to a drug test by your school, you have a right to challenge the legitimacy of the suspicion under the Fourth Amendment.

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