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In New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)  What was the first question the Supreme Court...

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In New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)


What was the first question the Supreme Court considered in this decision? How did it answer that question? Whose rights and needs did the Court seek to balance in its decision? The Court set a new standard in this case in concluding that a search of students at school is allowed under the Fourth Amendment. What is that standard?

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The first question that the Court considered in this decision was whether the 4th Amendment applies to school officials.  In other words, does a school official need to obey that amendment when considering whether to search your purse?  The Court said officials do need to abide by the 4th Amendment.

However, the Court said that schools have way more latitude to search students' property than police would outside the school.  This is because the school has to maintain a good learning environment.  The school would only need to have a reasonable cause to conduct a search (as opposed to probable cause, which police need outside schools).

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