The Right to Search Students
New Jersey V. T.L.O., 1985
When questioned by the assistant vice-principle about the situation T.L.O. denied smoking. The assistant vice-principle began to search her purse. There he found a pack od cigarettes along with rolling papers commonly used for smoking marijuana. He then searched the rest of her purse and found marijuana, a pipe, a plastic bags, and a large amount of money along with an index card that listed names of who owed T.L.O. money and two letters that implicated T.L.O. in marijuana dealing.
The assistant vice-principle then notified the girls parents and turned the evidence of drug dealing over to the police T.L.O. was charged, as a juvenile, with criminal activity T.L.O, in turn, claimed the evidence that was found inside her purse could not be used in court because the evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure. They mentioned that the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant and probable cause applied to T.L.O. while in high school as a student. After appeals in lower courts, the case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court's Decision
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