ACLU Sues Grand Blanc Community Schools Over Drug Testing Policy

March 28, 2000

The ACLU of Michigan, representing Grand Blanc student Micah White, filed a lawsuit today in Genesee County Circuit Court challenging a policy at the school to require drug testing of student athletes.

In the fall of 1999, Mr. White applied to enroll in the wrestling program at Grand Blanc High School. The eligibility requirements required that he and his parents sign a Drug Testing Authorization Form.  After he refused to do so, he was not allowed to participate in the wrestling program.

"We shouldn't be treating students as if they are criminals.  Indiscriminate, suspicionless drug testing violates their privacy rights.  As the Supreme Court said in Tinker v. DesMoines, students do not surrender their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gates."

Mr. White is a member of the National Honor Society and is a National Merit Commended Student, and a National Achievement Finalist. He has never been suspended, expelled or disciplined at high school due to behavior problems or for other reasons.

Prior to implementation of the policy, the high school had not found any evidence that would justify subjecting athletes to random searches; instead, they found that out of numerous students tested, only one tested positive for drugs.

The State of Michigan has held in a previous case that the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is greater under the Michigan Constitution than under the federal constitution.

The case has been assigned to the Hon. Geoffrey Neithercut.  The cooperating attorney in this case is Gregory T. Gibbs and JeanMarie Miller and Mark Granzatto.

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