New Jersey v. T.L.O.
Do Students Have The Same Right To Protection Against Unreasonable Search?
The Fourth Amendment provides U.S. citizens with guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure by authorities. Students may assert their protection from unreasonable searches under the same constitutional right. A student suspected of wrongdoing may attempt to use this defense as a means of avoiding being detected and disciplined. Trying to avoid seizure of cigarettes or other contraband not allowed on school premises, juveniles may attempt to deny searches of their personal property. Or if a search does take place, the juvenile may attempt to suppress evidence discovered, if court action ensues.
In a public school setting, however, the school may set and publish the guidelines determining the test for "reasonableness" of a search. This may depend upon the severity of the suspected offense by the student. Issues involving safety to all students may justify searches of students' personal property while on school premises. Some property used by the student, like lockers, are owned by the school. Additionally, because of public funding, greater latitude may be given to school officials attempting to provide a safe and orderly educational environment for all students.
Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988New Jersey v. T.L.O. - Significance, Do Students Have The Same Right To Protection Against Unreasonable Search?