District V. Redding Unified School District

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The Fourth Amendment states that a search is constitutionally unreasonable unless there is a warrant issued supported by probable cause. The interests in schools are different because they must maintain order and discipline of children and their Fourth Amendment rights must be balanced. One type of search that has arisen lately is the strip search. The Supreme Court had not directly ruled on the constitutionality of strip searches until 2009 with the case of Safford Unified School District v. Redding. This paper will break down the topic of strip searches in public schools into three parts. Part 1 will show how the Supreme Court decisions have defined the rights of school children under the Fourth Amendment. The second part will compare and contrast different court cases that have dealt with strip searches. The third, and final part, will look into responses to the problem and recommendations that schools should use when dealing with strip searches. Supreme Court’s Influence The Supreme Court set a precedent on school searches with the case of New Jersey v. T.L.O. In that particular case, a student was observed smoking in the bathroom of the high school. The student denied smoking and upon search of her belongings by the assistant vice principal, a pack of cigarettes were found along with rolling papers. Since there is a parallel between rolling papers and marijuana, the assistant vice principal decided to further search her purse and found marijuana, empty
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