Unlawful Search: New Jersey vs. T.L.O.

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Felix Suhermanto
Honors Am Gov.
2/22/13
period 3 white

T.L.O vs. New Jersey

The court’s decision in TLO vs. New jersey had a remarkable impact on the general public, to the extent that it is still cited today. The fourth amendment states that “ the right of the people o be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

But the question is that does this amendment apply to students in public schools? When the assistant vice Principal Mr. Choplick at Piscataway High School was searching through TLO’s belongings he did not believe that he was violating the constitution. This was because she was caught with a fellow classmate in the girls bathroom smoking a cigarette. When Mr. Choplick was searching through TLO’s purse he found a pack of cigarettes, rolling papers, a bag of weed, a pipe, lots of one dollar bills and a list of students who owes her money and a letter that has shown that she has been dealing drugs.

After the search at the school was conducted TLO’s mother and the police were informed. TLO was taken to the police station and was questioned, which she then confessed that she had been dealing drugs at school. Because TLO had confessed the state of New Jersey had to file delinquency charges on TLO. After this was taken care of, TLO requested that the evidence in her purse was to be restricted. This was because she believed that the search in her school was violating the fourth amendment. She also wanted her confession to be restricted. She said that she confessed because of what was found inside the purse and said that if the purse were not searched for she would not have said a confession. The court denied it but they considered that the search was unlawful.
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