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ERIC Number: ED520784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 113
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5269-1
School Search and Seizure Law: A Guideline for K-12 Administrators
Frandsen, Scott
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
In an effort to safeguard the learning environment, school administrators generally rely on district or local school guidelines and professional judgment. With new technology, the proliferation of drug use, and increased school violence, schools have become a complex environment to manage for both system and local leadership. Administrators are often called on to deal with situations that require them to search students and their belongings. School system officials and/or local school administrators are breaching students' constitutional rights and, in many cases, facing litigation when attempting to safeguard the learning environment through improper search and seizure practices and/or policies. The purpose of this research is to inform and provide guidance to school officials on researched-based search and seizure practices that will allow them to search students and their belongings properly and in a manner that safeguards the rights of the students they are searching. This study reviews the historical context of students' rights as it relates to search and seizure through an overview of existing case law, including relevant Supreme Court cases, lower federal courts cases, case briefs and information from law and education journals. This study also provides an in-depth analysis of the recent U.S. Supreme Court case Safford v. Redding and its impact on search and seizure law. This analysis revealed that school officials must have reasonable information that leads to the necessary suspicion to initiate the search. The scope of the search cannot be overly intrusive given the circumstances, which include the age and sex of the student. Additionally, under the "quantum leap" doctrine of the U.S. Supreme Court articulated in Safford v. Redding, highly intrusive strip searches should only be conducted given the threat of danger or given specific information that indicates contraband is hidden under clothing. Further research is suggested to identify the communication and training practices of school systems regarding search and seizure policies and the effectiveness of those practices in developing an awareness of ever evolving school law. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A