Presentation on theme: "1985. 3/7/80, 2 Freshmen at Piscataway High School is found in the girl’s bathroom smoking cigarettes. They were brought to the AP’s office One."— Presentation transcript:
3/7/80, 2 Freshmen at Piscataway High School is found in the girl’s bathroom smoking cigarettes. They were brought to the AP’s office One denied, she was asked to hand over her purse and she complied Purse opened and found: Cigarettes Money Drug paraphernalia Incriminating letters showing that student dealt drugs
T.L.O. was taken to the police station where she confessed that she had sold marijuana at the school. A juvenile court sentenced her to a year's probation. The State Supreme Court overturned the decision, stating that T.L.O.'s 4th Amendment rights had been violated. The State of New Jersey asked that the Supreme Court hear its appeal.
The student believed her 4 th amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) rights had been violated. Thoughts? Did the Assistant Principal act appropriately? Was the search lawful? If you were the student?
For New Jersey: School officials act for the parents of students. Like parents, they do not need a warrant to make searches or seize evidence. School officials also must have broad powers to control student conduct, including the powers of search and seizure. T.L.O.'s behavior furnished a reasonable basis for the search of her purse; therefore, the exclusionary rule does not apply.
For T.L.O: Public school officials are employees of the State, not representatives of parents. They do not have the right to act as parents. Because school officials are employees of the State, they are obligated to respect every student's rights, including his or her right to privacy. The search of T.L.O.'s purse and the seizure of its contents were unreasonable acts, which led to her confession; therefore, the exclusionary rule applies.
Do students in school have the same rights under the 4th Amendment as adults? Does "probable cause" have to be established for the search of a student in school, or is "reasonable cause" enough?
6-3 supporting NJ. Since there was a reasonable suspicion that the student would be carrying cigarettes due to breaking the school rule, the original search for the cigarettes was lawful. Once the purse was opened, the rest of the materials were in plain view, and thus found legally. In essence, within the 5 senses
The majority opinion stated that minors in a school setting do not have the same level of protection from searches and seizures as adults and minors in non school settings. Thoughts?
Here is a quote from Justice Brennan "Today's decision sanctions school officials to conduct full scale searches on a 'reasonableness' standard whose only definite content is that it is not the same test as the 'probable cause' standard found in the text of the Fourth Amendment. In adopting this unclear, unprecedented, and unnecessary departure from generally applicable Fourth Amendment standards, the Court carves out a broad exception to standards that this Court has developed over years of considering Fourth Amendment problems. Its decision is supported neither by precedent nor even by a fair application of the 'Balancing test of power' it proclaims in this very opinion.“ Thoughts?
The search MUST be undertaken by a school official (administrator) If law enforcement conduct the search, than it is in violation of the student’s 4 th amendment rights.
Does this open a pandora’s box? How would you respond if I conducted a search based on a similar circumstance?
You are going to pick groups of 3. In your groups I am going to assign you a side based on the Constitutional issue slide In your groups, start to research precedent law (higher courts or lower courts) that will support your side. We will be prepared to debate during the next class. Feel free to use your electronic devices as needed, make sure to remain on topic