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COLUMBINE SCHOOL SHOOTING

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					SCHOOL SAFETY LAW
     Fourth Amendment Issues




          Edmund Zigmund
          Senior Legal Instructor
    Department of Homeland Security
 Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
            Glynco, GA 31524
             (912) 280-5447
        Edmund.Zigmund@dhs.gov
COLUMBINE SCHOOL
    SHOOTING
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN
    PUBLIC SCHOOLS
     TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED
   STUDENT SEARCHES
2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY
   or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN
    PUBLIC SCHOOLS
     TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED
   STUDENT SEARCHES
2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY
   or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES
      SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING ALONE

             NEW JERSEY v. T.L.O.
          469 U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733 (1985)

1)   Search constitutional

2)   4th Amendment does apply
     to searches conducted by
     public school officials
       SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING ALONE

           NEW JERSEY v. T.L.O. (cont.)
            469 U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733 (1985)

3)   Need Reasonable Suspicion:
     student violating law or school rules

4)   Do not need Search Warrant

5)   Scope of the Search limited to
     objective of the search:
     consider student’s age, sex
     and nature of infraction
      SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING
IN CONJUNCTION WITH POLICE OFFICERS
               In Re ANGELIA D.B.
              564 N.W.2d 682 (Wis. 1997)

1)   Search constitutional

2)   Reasonable suspicion
     justified search by school
     liaison officer at request of
     and in conjunction with
     school officials
      SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING
IN CONJUNCTION WITH POLICE OFFICERS
         In Re ANGELIA D.B. (cont.)
           564 N.W.2d 682 (Wis. 1997)
3)   Scope of search not excessive
     student’s age, gender, and
     nature of the infraction

4)   School officials can request
     assistance from school police
     officers or other law enforcement
           SCHOOL POLICE ACTING
        ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY
             PEOPLE v. DILWORTH
              661 N.E.2d 310 (Ill. 1996)

1)   Search constitutional

2)   Search by school liaison officer
     conducted to maintain a proper
     educational environment
           SCHOOL POLICE ACTING
        ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY
         PEOPLE v. DILWORTH (cont.)
              661 N.E.2d 310 (Ill. 1996)

3)   Reasonable suspicion existed &
     school liaison officer was a
     school official

4)   Scope of search proper -
     officer seized and
     searched only flashlight
      SEARCHES BY OUTSIDE POLICE
        or INDEPENDENT POLICE
                  F.P. v. STATE
       528 So.2d 1253 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1988)

1)   Unconstitutional Search

2)   "School Official Exception"
     did not apply

3)   Search at request of
     outside police

4)   S.R.O. needed consent or
     probable cause
   INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED
         STUDENT SEARCHES
                    SUMMARY
SCHOOL OFFICIALS              REASONABLE
(alone/in conjunction)        SUSPICION

SCHOOL POLICE                 REASONABLE
                              SUSPICION

OUTSIDE POLICE                PROBABLE
                              CAUSE
WARRANTLESS SEARCHES IN
    PUBLIC SCHOOLS
     TWO GENERAL TYPES:

1) INDIVIDUAL SUSPICION-BASED
   STUDENT SEARCHES
2) GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY
   or ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES
     GENERAL STUDENT-WIDE SAFETY or
       ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCHES
     VERNONIA SCH. DIST 47J v. ACTON
          515 U.S. 646, 115 S. Ct. 2386 (1995)

1)   Drug testing of student
     athletes constitutional

2)   “Special Needs” make the
     warrant and probable-cause
     requirement impracticable
            METAL DETECTORS

       Thompson v. Carthage Sch. Dist.
              87 F.3d 979 (8th Cir. 1996)

1)   Search constitutional

2)   Risk to student safety and school discipline
     no reasonable guardian/tutor could ignore

3)   General but minimally intrusive search for
     dangerous weapons (even though no
     suspicion of any particular student)
                     DOGS
      B.C. v. Plumas Unified Sch. Dist.
              192 F.3d 1260 (9th Cir. 1999)

1)   Dog “sniff” searches of property are not
     “searches” (See United States v. Place)
2)   Close proximity sniffing of person is
     offensive, highly intrusive and was an
     unconstitutional search
3)   Individualized suspicion required for dog
     sniff of students
                 LOCKERS
                In re Patrick Y.
           746 A.2d 405 (Md. Ct. App. 2000)

1)   Search constitutional
2)   School lockers were school property
     no reasonable expectation of privacy

3)   School officials can search like any school
     property
4)   No probable cause or reasonable suspicion
     required
   ?
QUESTIONS
Thank You!

				
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