Searches of students t l o and beyond public schools of robeson county august 6 2014
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SEARCHES OF STUDENTS: T.L.O. AND BEYOND Public Schools of Robeson County August 6, 2014 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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SEARCHES OF STUDENTS: T.L.O. AND BEYOND Public Schools of Robeson County August 6, 2014. Grady L. Hunt Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt & Brooks (910) 521-3413 [email protected]

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SEARCHES OF STUDENTS: T.L.O. AND BEYOND Public Schools of Robeson County August 6, 2014

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Searches of students t l o and beyond public schools of robeson county august 6 2014

SEARCHES OF STUDENTS: T.L.O. AND BEYOND Public Schools of Robeson CountyAugust 6, 2014

Grady L. Hunt

Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt & Brooks

(910) 521-3413

[email protected]

The information contained in this presentation is intended for general guidance only, and is not intended to provide specific legal advice or to express specific legal opinions


Part 1 standards for school officials

Part 1: Standards for School Officials

What are the legal limits and standards imposed upon school officials when conducting searches and seizures of students?


Constitutional standard

Constitutional Standard

The Fourth Amendment protects all U.S. citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”


U s supreme court precedent

U.S. Supreme Court Precedent

  • In New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to searches and investigations conducted by public school officials.

  • The legality of such searches “should depend simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search (emphasis added).”


T l o facts

T.L.O. Facts

  • Based on a teacher’s tip, assistant principal searches T.L.O’s purse for evidence of smoking.

  • A/P finds a pack of cigarettes and cigarette rolling papers.

  • A/P continues to search the purse and finds marijuana, a pipe, plastic bags, a substantial amount of money, a list of people who owed T.L.O. money, and letters that implicated T.L.O. in dealing marijuana.


T l o balancing test

T.L.O. Balancing Test

  • On one hand, the Court wants to protect the privacy interests of the individual students –their “legitimate expectations of privacy and personal security.”

  • On the other hand, the Court understands the need for school officials to maintain order and discipline to create a safe environment conducive to learning.


The importance of the school context

The Importance of the School Context

  • “The school setting requires some easing of the restrictions to which searches by authorities [i.e., law enforcement] are ordinarily subject.” Thus:

  • School officials are not required to obtain a search warrant prior to a search of a student or his belongings.

  • School officials are not required to have “probable cause” before conducting a warrantless search of a student.


T l o reasonableness test

T.L.O. Reasonableness Test

  • Determining the reasonableness of any search involves a two-fold inquiry:

  • Was the action “justified at its inception?”

    >Was there “reasonable suspicion” of finding evidence of wrongdoing?

    2) Was the action “permissible in its scope?”

    > Was the search “not excessively intrusive” in light of the circumstances?


Searches of students t l o and beyond public schools of robeson county august 6 2014

Questions????????


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