Washington Law Review


In March 2008, the Supreme Court of Washington decided York v. Wahkiakum School District, a case involving mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of student athletes. The court struck down the testing regime, but, unable to agree on the grounds for invalidating the testing, issued three separate opinions. The lead opinion argued that suspicionless testing could never be countenanced under the Washington Constitution. Two concurrences argued that suspicionless testing could be permissible under certain circumstances pursuant to a variant of the federal special-needs doctrine. This Note reviews search-and-seizure protections under the United States and Washington constitutions, their application to school search law, and gives an overview of York. Finally, this Note argues that jurisprudential, democratic, and educational values all counsel in favor of following York’s lead opinion and maintaining an individualized-suspicion requirement for school searches.

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