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SCHOOL SAFETY LAW Fourth Amendment Issues. Edmund Zigmund Senior Legal Instructor Department of Homeland Security Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Glynco, GA 31524 (912) 280-5447 [email protected] COLUMBINE SCHOOL SHOOTING. WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

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School safety law fourth amendment issues
SCHOOL SAFETY LAWFourth Amendment Issues

Edmund Zigmund

Senior Legal Instructor

Department of Homeland Security

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Glynco, GA 31524

(912) 280-5447

[email protected]



Warrantless searches in public schools
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED

STUDENT SEARCHES

2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY

or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES


Warrantless searches in public schools1
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED

STUDENT SEARCHES

2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY

or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES


School officials acting alone
SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING ALONE

NEW JERSEY v. T.L.O.

469 U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733 (1985)

  • Search constitutional

  • 4th Amendment does apply

    to searches conducted by

    public school officials


School officials acting alone1
SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING ALONE

NEW JERSEY v. T.L.O. (cont.)

469 U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733 (1985)

  • Need Reasonable Suspicion:

    student violating law or school rules

  • Do not need Search Warrant

  • Scope of the Search limited to

    objective of the search:

    consider student’s age, sex

    and nature of infraction


School officials acting in conjunction with police officers
SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING IN CONJUNCTION WITH POLICE OFFICERS

In Re ANGELIA D.B.

564 N.W.2d 682 (Wis. 1997)

  • Search constitutional

  • Reasonable suspicion

    justified search by school

    liaison officer at request of

    and in conjunction with

    school officials


School officials acting in conjunction with police officers1
SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING IN CONJUNCTION WITH POLICE OFFICERS

In Re ANGELIA D.B. (cont.)

564 N.W.2d 682 (Wis. 1997)

  • Scope of search not excessive

    student’s age, gender, and

    nature of the infraction

  • School officials can request

    assistance from school police

    officers or other law enforcement


School police acting on their own authority
SCHOOL POLICE ACTING ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY

PEOPLE v. DILWORTH

661 N.E.2d 310 (Ill. 1996)

  • Search constitutional

  • Search by school liaison officer

    conducted to maintain a proper

    educational environment


School police acting on their own authority1
SCHOOL POLICE ACTING ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY

PEOPLE v. DILWORTH (cont.)

661 N.E.2d 310 (Ill. 1996)

  • Reasonable suspicion existed &

    school liaison officer was a

    school official

  • Scope of search proper -

    officer seized and

    searched only flashlight


Searches by outside police or independent police
SEARCHES BY OUTSIDE POLICE or INDEPENDENT POLICE

F.P. v. STATE

528 So.2d 1253 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1988)

  • Unconstitutional Search

  • "School Official Exception"

    did not apply

  • Search at request of

    outside police

  • S.R.O. needed consent or

    probable cause


Individual suspicion based student searches
INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED STUDENT SEARCHES

SUMMARY

SCHOOL OFFICIALSREASONABLE

(alone/in conjunction) SUSPICION

SCHOOL POLICEREASONABLE

SUSPICION

OUTSIDE POLICEPROBABLE CAUSE


Warrantless searches in public schools2
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED

STUDENT SEARCHES

2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY

or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES


General student wide safety or administrative searches
GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES

VERNONIA SCH. DIST 47J v. ACTON

515 U.S. 646, 115 S. Ct. 2386 (1995)

  • Drug testing of student

    athletes constitutional

  • “Special Needs” make the

    warrant and probable-cause

    requirement impracticable


Metal detectors
METAL DETECTORS

Thompson v. Carthage Sch. Dist.

87 F.3d 979 (8th Cir. 1996)

  • Search constitutional

  • Risk to student safety and school discipline no reasonable guardian/tutor could ignore

  • General but minimally intrusive search for dangerous weapons (even though no suspicion of any particular student)


DOGS

B.C. v. Plumas Unified Sch. Dist.

192 F.3d 1260 (9th Cir. 1999)

  • Dog “sniff” searches of property are not “searches” (See United States v. Place)

  • Close proximity sniffing of person is offensive, highly intrusive and was an unconstitutional search

  • Individualized suspicion requiredfor dog sniff of students


Lockers
LOCKERS

In re Patrick Y.

746 A.2d 405 (Md. Ct. App. 2000)

  • Search constitutional

  • School lockers were school property

    no reasonable expectation of privacy

  • School officials can search like any school property

  • No probable cause or reasonable suspicion required


?

QUESTIONS



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