New Jersey Vs. T.L.O Essay

456 words - 2 pages

        In 1980 two girls were caught smoking in the school laboratory at Piscataway High School, New Jersey, by a teacher. Smoking was prohibited by school rules, so the students, T.L.O and a friend, were taken to the principal's office. There, the assistant principal demanded to see T.L.O.'s purse. Cigarettes, Cigarette rolling paper, marijuana, a pipe, plastic bags, money, lists of names, and two letters that made it suspicious that she was connected to drug dealing. TLO says that she cannot be charged for any of these offenses, because she was violated of her rights promised in amendment 4, unlawful search and seizure. Due to obvi ...view middle of the document...

Finally, TLO should be dealt her due punishment for her wrongs, and stop using the constitution to try and escape those punishments.
Yet, the incriminating items were found at the same time as the cigarettes, and given reasonable cause for suspicion; the school does have the legal right to search its students.

        The constitutional principle being argued in this case is Limited Government. In this case school rules are put above the constitution for the safety of other students. The constitutional rights are put aside for a good cause. The main issue was whether or not the assistant principle from New Jersey was violating T.L.O.'s rights given to her by the fourth, Fifth and fourteenth amendment. Protection from "unreasonable search" given to her by the Fourth amendment. The Fifth Amendment gives her the protection from self incrimination. The right of "civil rights" is given to her by the fourteenth amendment.
The Supreme Court decided in favor for the school. This would enforce school rules and give the school more power to be strict about their rules. School officials who suspect a student doing something wrong have the right to search their bags to look for unsafe or prohibited items. A different set of rules apply in school as oppose to the outside world.
The decision of this case takes away one of my rights but for a good reason. If a student was suspected of having a gun in his locker, the school would be able to search him and take away the gun. This decision makes schools a safer place.


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