ERIC Number: ED345353
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Influence on New Jersey's Public High Schools of the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in "New Jersey v. T.L.O."
Stefkovich, Jacqueline A.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees "the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" by governmental officials. In a 1985 Supreme Court decision, "New Jersey v. TLO," students' privacy rights in public schools are afforded a lower standard of protection than is usually given to citizens. (TLO was a 14-year-old female student at Piscataway (New Jersey) High School and whose person was searched. She was accused of smoking cigarettes in violation of school rules. The results of the search implicated her in marijuana dealing.) This paper, based on an exploratory field study, investigated the U.S. Supreme Court's decision and its influence on early implementation of policies and practices in three New Jersey high schools. Findings revealed that, after the U.S. Supreme Court decision, there were few changes in written policies at the local level and these were restricted to locker searches and attributed to sources other than the "TLO" decision. There were also no increases in either the number of legal searches or the numbers and types of illegal searches. Most school searches were generally related to criminal rather than school violations; administrators were hesitant to conduct school searches; and districts had devised complicated procedures for conducting searches that act as a safeguard for students' rights. (13 references) (Author/RR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Jersey; New Jersey v TLO; Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).