Random Locker Searches Essay

Random Locker Searches Essay-31
One federal court has recently held that the use of drug-sniffing dogs on a student's person requires individualized, reasonable suspicion. Drug-testing programs are another form of a random search. Prevention of drug abuse, according to this court, does not justify the dog sniffing the person because it intrudes on the expectation of privacy and security (B. In 1995, the Supreme Court upheld a drug-testing program for student athletes because the school had a documented drug epidemic; participation in athletics was optional; the athletes had a lessened expectation of privacy because they participated in communal showering; the athletes had a heightened risk of injury; the athletes were the leaders of the drug culture; the testing procedure was minimally intrusive; and the consequence of a positive test was not discipline but treatment (Vernonia School District 47J v. As schools try to expand drug-testing programs beyond the facts in Vernonia, courts have struggled in a number of cases to determine what is constitutional: Until the Court provides guidance on drug-testing programs beyond the facts of Vernonia, schools should consider the following questions before instituting a drug-testing program: How serious is the drug problem in the tested population? Board of Education of Tecumseh Public School District, 242 F.3d 1264 (10th Cir. Some school policies require students to provide consent to a search or risk discipline.

One federal court has recently held that the use of drug-sniffing dogs on a student's person requires individualized, reasonable suspicion. Drug-testing programs are another form of a random search. Prevention of drug abuse, according to this court, does not justify the dog sniffing the person because it intrudes on the expectation of privacy and security (B. In 1995, the Supreme Court upheld a drug-testing program for student athletes because the school had a documented drug epidemic; participation in athletics was optional; the athletes had a lessened expectation of privacy because they participated in communal showering; the athletes had a heightened risk of injury; the athletes were the leaders of the drug culture; the testing procedure was minimally intrusive; and the consequence of a positive test was not discipline but treatment (Vernonia School District 47J v. As schools try to expand drug-testing programs beyond the facts in Vernonia, courts have struggled in a number of cases to determine what is constitutional: Until the Court provides guidance on drug-testing programs beyond the facts of Vernonia, schools should consider the following questions before instituting a drug-testing program: How serious is the drug problem in the tested population? Board of Education of Tecumseh Public School District, 242 F.3d 1264 (10th Cir. Some school policies require students to provide consent to a search or risk discipline.

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Usually, law enforcement personnel conduct searches to reveal evidence of a violation of the law.

The seized evidence then can be used in a criminal trial to convict the student of a crime.

Examples of random searches include the use of metal detectors in school entrances and sweeps of parking lots and lockers.

The legality of a random search depends on whether the school has a compelling interest or special need that warrants the use of a search without suspicion.

School administrators conduct a search to gather evidence for school discipline.

At times law enforcement and school administrators may, therefore, have different purposes for a potential search.

One crucial difference in their purposes is the ability to use the results of an illegal search in a disciplinary hearing but not in a criminal proceeding.

School administrators face severe threats to school safety and are simultaneously held increasingly accountable to the public and policymakers to keep students safe.

One tool for keeping schools safe is the use of student searches. This right is diminished in the school environment, however, because of the unique need to maintain a safe atmosphere where learning and teaching can occur.

Schools must strike a balance between the student's right to privacy and the need to maintain school safety. But are law enforcement officials assigned to schools to maintain safety subject to the reasonable suspicion standard or the higher probable cause standard?

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