The Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that it is unconstitutional to require all high school student athletes to submit to random drug testing. The case sprang out of Wahkiakum, a small town north of the Oregon border, just west of Longview. Three students were tested from 1999 to 2001. The results of the tests are not included in the court's ruling, but the parents of Aaron and Abaraham York and Tristan Schneider sued the district saying the policy of requiring students to submit to random drug testing to participate in athletics violated the state constitution, which states: "No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."
The Yorks and Schneiders lost at trial and on appeal, but the state Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to reverse the lower court's decision. In the majority opinion, authored by Justice Richard Sanders, the judges note that they appreciate the school district's concerns about student drug use. The opinion also states that while drug testing on suspicion has been ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, a blanket policy of random testing violates the rights of students who are suspected of no wrong under the state constitution.
Three additional concurring opinions were written, but all ruled on the side of the Yorks and Schneiders.