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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)
slide16
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
slide18
?

QUESTIONS

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