Presentation on theme: "Analyzing a Court Decision An overview of Student Searches presented by Bart Fennemore."— Presentation transcript:
Analyzing a Court Decision An overview of Student Searches presented by Bart Fennemore
New Jersey v. T.L.O. Supreme Court of the United States 469 U.S. 325 (1985) Facts Two female students were suspected of smoking in the lavatory. One confessed and the other, T.L.O., denied any wrongdoing. The principal searched T.L.O.’s purse and discovered cigarettes.
Facts When the cigarettes were discovered so was rolling paper. This prompted a more thorough search that revealed “marijuana, a pipe, a number of empty plastic bags, a substantial quantity of money in one dollar bills, an index card that appeared to be a list of students who owed T.L.O. money, and two letters that implicated T.L.O. in marijuana dealing.”
Facts T.L.O. confessed to her crimes but then contended that because her Fourth Amendment rights had been violated that confession and the evidence found should be suppressed from the record.
Issue Searches by educators were viewed as a violation of Fourth Amendment rights (Protection against unreasonable search and seizure).
Holding School officials need not obtain a warrant before searching a student who is under their authority. Search only needs to be reasonable. Educators do not act in loco parentis
Legal Doctrine The Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The court focused on the meaning of “unreasonable searches and seizures” and the necessity of a warrant. Only reasonable cause is necessary. (pp. 167) Warrants are unnecessary for public school educators to search those under their authority. (pp. 166)
Legal Doctrine The Fourteenth Amendment extends the Fourth Amendment to State authorities not just Federal; No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities [Fourth Amendment] of citizens of the United States. Doctrine of in loco parentis: Educators do not act as parents but are fully agents of the state.
Significance Educators are allowed to search students following two questions: Is the search justified at its inception? Was the search conducted reasonable in regard to circumstances that initiated the search? Is the search within the bounds of what the student expects to be a protection of their privacy? check this in TLO case.
Additional Cases Case: Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton Court: 515 U.S. 646 (1995) Case: Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawtomie County v. Earls Court: 536 U.S. 822 (2002) Dealt with random searches
Additional Cases Case: Webb v. McCullough Court: F.2d 1151 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 6th (1987) Student’s hotel room was searched by a supervising educator. Relied on doctrine of in loco parentis, citing most parents would not allow their children on distant trips if the educators intended to supervise did not have sufficient authority to do so.
Additional Cases Case: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette Court: 319 U.S. 624, 637 (1943) Student protection of rights as granted by the 14 th Amendment.