Hageman v. Goshen County Sch. Dist. No. 1

No. S-10-0009

Location: SUPREME COURT OF WYOMING, 2011 WY 91; 256 P.3d 487; 2011 Wyo. LEXIS 91

Date: June 6, 2011, Decided

Brief Summary of the facts of the case – The Goshen County School District adopted a policy that required all students who took part in the school’s extracurricular activities to be subject to random drug and alcohol tests. The parents of the students filed a lawsuit against the school district, saying that the policy was unconstitutional. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the school district, so the parents appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court of Wyoming.

Disposition of the case – The District Court of Goshen County, under The Honorable Judge Wade E. Waldrip, granted summary judgment for the school on the grounds that the testing was reasonable and did not violate Wyo. Const. art. 1, 4, that protects public school students from unreasonable search and seizure. The court stated that students were already subject to rules and regulations that were more stringent than adults. The court also said that students had limited expectations of privacy in the school setting. The court stated that the school district had a compelling interest in providing for the safety and welfare of its students by deterring drug and alcohol use. The Supreme Court of Wyoming affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of the school district.

Significance of the case for a manager – A sports manager should feel comfortable conducting random searches for athletes in order to provide for the safety and welfare of the students. If a coach or sports manager feels that some of their athletes are involved in drugs or alcohol or may have guns with them at school, they should feel confident with conducting a random search without feeling threatened by a potential lawsuit by the student or his or her parents for unreasonable search and seizure. In order to maintain a safe environment for the students, a sports manager can schedule regular random searches to maintain the integrity of the extracurricular athletics program.

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