New Jersey v TLO Essay

New Jersey v. T. L. O. , (1985) is the case that impacted me the most. It is a decision by the US Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of a search of a public high school student after she was caught smoking. A search of her purse revealed drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and documentation of drug sales. She was charged as a juvenile for the drugs and paraphernalia found in the search. She went against the search, claiming it violated her 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches.

The U. S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, said that the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

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This case established limitations on our 4th amendment right under school property. The majority opinion should be right one because in order to maintain every single student safe on school grounds, school officials need to be able to search anything on the school property without a warrant. In fact this case established “probable cause” which is when something is a “maybe” or “might be” and it is not necessarily written as a document.

This is very different from real life because a police officer can only search where and when the warrant says to and only if he has one and any evidence found through an illegal search cannot be used.

Since then, everything has change the way of doing things around school and people are now safer because less people start bringing this kind of inappropriate or illegal material especially if they know that someone might search their locker or backpack and get them in a lot of trouble. Another reason is that it happened in a school environment not too long ago and it gives some students something to reflect on as if they had to worry about their school safety. At last, this case had a huge impact on all students that go to school currently.

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