student searches ppt. - dr. william allan kritsonis

Download Student Searches PPT. - Dr. William Allan Kritsonis

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Dr. Kritsonis is Professor of Educational Leadership at Prairie View A&M University – Member of the Texas A&M University System. He teaches in the PhD Program in Educational Leadership and the Master’s Program in Administration with emphasis in Principal certification. Dr. Kritsonis taught the Inaugural class session in the doctoral program at the start of the fall 2004 academic year. In October 2006, Dr. Kritsonis chaired the first doctoral student to earn a PhD in Educational Leadership at PVAMU. Dr. Kritsonis has chaired 23 dissertations wherein students have graduated and earned the PhD at PVAMU. He lives in Houston, Texas.


  • 1. Are They Legal in Public Schools?William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

2. "[t]he right of the people to be secure intheir persons, houses, papers, and effects,against unreasonable searches andseizures, shall not be violated...." This was the amendment that protectedpeople from unreasonable search andseizures, including public schoolstudents. 3. T.L.O. and a friend were accused of violatingschool rules by smoking cigarettes in a schoollavatory, the latter, who admitted to smoking,was not brought to the office for a search. TheSupreme Court of New Jersey decreed that thesearch of T.L.O.s purse violated the FourthAmendment. On appeal, in New Jersey v. T.L.O.,the Supreme Court reversed in favor of theState of New Jersey (Russo). This was the case that laid the basic principlesfor student searches. 4. School officials must establish reasonablecause for believing that the student isviolating or has violated a student rule ora law. They must make sure that the searchconducted is reasonable in scope in lightof the age and sex of the student and thenature of the offense. 5. A school official may search the person of a student ifthe school official has reasonable grounds to believethat the student is in possession of contraband. Search of the person shall be limited to the studentspockets, any object in the students possession such as apurse, briefcase or backpack, and/or a "pat down" ofthe exterior of the students clothing. Searches of the person shall be conducted out of thepresence of other students and as privately as possible.At least one, but not more than three additionalpersons of the same sex as the student being searchedshall witness but not participate in the search. The parent/guardian of any student searched shall benotified of the search as soon as reasonably possible. 6. A locker search is simply the act ofopening a locker and looking through itscontents. Depending on the state,administration may choose to search one,several or all lockers. The search maybegin when a drug dog indicates thatthere may be some contraband such asdrugs in the locker, when a studentreports concern of what another studentmay have in his locker, or when theadministration calls for a random search. 7. Sniffer dogs can be used if they aresufficiently reliable to indicate reasonablesuspicion that contraband is present. Horton v. Goose Creek the courtestablished that dogs could sniffstudents cars and lockers, but could notsniff the students themselves for drugs. 8. In 1978 the Goose Creek Independent School District inTexas brought in drug-sniffing dogs in an attempt to dealwith a rampant drug and alcohol problem. The dogs weretrained to detect more than 60 different controlled andover-the-counter substances. On an unannounced andrandom basis, dogs were taken to all of the schools in thedistrict to sniff the students lockers and cars and werebrought into the classrooms to sniff the studentsthemselves. If a dog indicated that a car or locker had anillegal substance, the student was required to open thelocker or vehicle for a search. If the dog indicated astudent was carrying an illegal substance, he or she wasbrought into the school office to be searched. 9. Due to the personal intrusiveness of adrug test it is looked upon as a search. Students athletes are subject torandom drug tests. Vernonia School District v. Acton wasthe case law that laid down theguidelines for drug testing. 10. The Student Activities Drug TestingPolicy implemented by PottawatomieCounty School District requires allstudents who participate in competitiveextracurricular activities to submit todrug testing. This policy reasonablyserves the school districts importantinterest in detecting and preventing druguse among its students, therefore thecourt held it as constitutional. 11. These devices are permissible inschools for student searches. These devices are also used doingextra-curricular activities. Students and parents must benotified that random studentsearches will occur. 12. Student searches are permissible as long asstudents Fourth Amendment rights arenot violated. Parents and students should be aware ofrandom searches through the student codeof conduct. School officials have a responsibility tokeep safe and secure environments forstudents and falculty.