After a shooting incident at another high school, the administrators at Riverdale High decided to conduct a sweep of all school lockers. They believe that the student profile and neighborhood of their school are similar to those where the shootings took place. There is, therefore, a possibility that a similar crime might occur.
The school administrators also think that a random search might be a good deterrent to keep students away from bringing guns or drugs to school. During the search of lockers, the policemen, who were asked to conduct the operation, also did a pat-down search of students who walked by.
You are the defense attorney for a student in whose locker marijuana was found during the search. The student was also found to be in possession of the same drug during the pat-down search.
Based on the case above, write an analysis that addresses the following questions:
- Do you believe that your client’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated under New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)? Why?
- How has case law changed with regard to school searches or other constitutional rights on school property, since the T.L.O. case?
- Should high school students enjoy the same constitutional protections on school grounds as they would on the street? Discuss the balance between student safety and personal privacy and explain where you believe the line should be drawn.