Essay about Search and Seizure in the Public Schools

1487 WordsNov 10, 20076 Pages
Search & Seizure in the Public Schools To fully understand the role and related responsibilities of search and seizure in the public schools, the Constitutional rights of the students and case law must be examined. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, 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 intent of the Fourth Amendment is to guarantee security against unreasonable governmental searches. Because school officials are actually…show more content…
The Court ruled that it did not violate students' federal or state constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches. The Court reasoned that the state, as schoolmaster of children, must exercise a degree of supervision and control greater than it could exercise over adults. They also said that public school children have lesser privacy expectations with regard to medical examinations and procedures than the general population, and student athletes have even less legitimate privacy expectation. The school district had immediate and legitimate concern in preventing student athletes from using drugs. Metal Detector Searches: No case has been brought to the Supreme Court level regarding metal detectors used to search students. In the case, People v. Pruitt , the Illinois appellate court held that searching students entering a school with a metal detector required no individual suspicion. The use of metal detectors should be communicated to all students and parents before implementation. Police Dog Searches The case of Horton v. Goose Creek I.S.D. held that the use of canines to sniff lockers and cars did not constitute a search. This court also ruled, however, that the use of canines to search students must only be done if there is individualized suspicion. Due to many other issues which could complicate the search, such as allergies,
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