(05-06) 18:09 PDT REDDING — A Northern California high school district’s drug testing of students taking part in competitive, non-athletic activities – such as the chess club, math team or school band – is an unjustified invasion of privacy, a judge ruled Wednesday in the first case of its kind in the state.
The Shasta Union High School District presented no evidence that drug use was more likely or more dangerous for those students than for others, said Judge Monica Marlow of Shasta County Superior Court.
She drew a distinction between students in the band or the chess club and student athletes. The state Supreme Court upheld the NCAA’s urine testing of college athletes in postseason championship events and bowl games in 1994, saying athletic competitors are accustomed to being monitored and have little expectation of privacy.
Although drug testing has become both expected and accepted in sports, particularly at the college and professional level, Marlow said, “it is not a reasonably expected part of the life of a member of the choir or math club.”
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