Fourth Amendment Rights For Schools
Start writing a post
Student Life

Fourth Amendment Rights For Schools

The Supreme Court tackles the issue of balancing the privacy rights of a student and the interests of schools.

1921
Fourth Amendment Rights For Schools
Capital Paintings Inc

The Fourth Amendment typically protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures" under a standard of probable cause. However, schools garner an exception to the probable cause requirement for a search to occur.

The Supreme Court has previously recognized that school students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate" in the anti-war protest case Tinker v. Des Moines. However, as the Supreme Court acknowledged in Tinker, the freedom of speech or expression is not unlimited as speech that disrupted the learning environment would not be protected. Similarly, the Supreme Court held that the right against unreasonable searches and seizures applied to public schools under a lower threshold standard of reasonable suspicion rather than probable cause in the case New Jersey v. T.L.O.

The T.L.O. decision spawned new inquiries on how far searches could be conducted before requiring a warrant. Generally, the Supreme Court has allowed drug testing without a warrant. In Veronica v. Acton, the court upheld a local school board's requirement to drug test all junior football players. The justices agreed that the drug testing fell under the Fourth Amendment as a search but it was considered to be reasonable in order to prevent drug use among teen athletes. The Veronica decision was further extended in Board of Education v. Earls which allowed for drug testing students who participated in any extracurricular activity, regardless if it was a sport or not. Similarly, the Supreme Court reasoned that the school had an interest in curbing drug use and that students in activities would have a lower expectation of privacy.

Even though it seems that the court has been willing to allow schools to conduct searches based on a lower standard, there have been instances where the justices agreed that an institution went too far. Savana Redding was strip searched by a school official after a student tip informed the school that Redding may have Ibuprofen. The justices ruled that the search violated Redding's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court reasoned that reasonable suspicion was present but the underlying reasons that lead to the suspicion must be reliable. In the case of Redding, the student tip did not allow for fulfilling the requirement to be reliable. As a result, the Supreme Court has established a limit to the T.L.O case with regards to the extent of searches on school grounds.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

76
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

1931

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2391
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

9572
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments