May a school district require the random drug testing of students who participate in extracurricular activities?

Yes. In Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the United States Supreme Court held that mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of public high school students participating in extracurricular activities is a constitutionally reasonable intrusion that furthers a public school’s legitimate interest in deterring drug use among children. 

The Supreme Court further found that a public school does not need to demonstrate a pervasive drug problem among the population subject to testing to warrant the intrusion. 

In sum, the Supreme Court determined that the government’s compelling interest in preventing and eradicating drug use among children outweighs the limited privacy expectations held by public middle and high school students. 

For more information about searches and seizures in our state's public schools, read Chapter 18 of the South Dakota School Law Deskbook™.