Uploaded by keniaaoro


1. New Jersey v. T.L.O is the case of a 14-year-old student who was caught smoking in
her schools’ bathroom by a teacher. Upon her discovery, the principal was allowed to
check the students’ purse and found cigarettes, rolling paper, and marijuana it was
then revealed that the student sold drugs. The student was then sent for probation but
decided to appeal due to her believing that the principal checking her purse was a
violation of her fourth amendment. However, the supreme court ruled in favor of the
school because she broke a school rule and committed a crime, the supreme court
believes that “schools have a responsibility to maintain order and an effective learning
environment.” In the case of Vernonia School District v. Acton, James Acton wanted
to play football for his school. His school required that athletes take drug tests at the
beginning of the season and at random, his parents did not consent to these drug tests
and this disagreement led to the school not allowing James to participate in school
athletics. James Parents sued the school and claimed that this violated their sons’
fourth amendment, however, the supreme court ruled in favor of the school district
because of drugs being a growing problem in the community and the school’s
awareness of it.
2. The cases are similar to each other because both students believed that their fourth
amendment was being violated. However, while one of the students was actually
engaging in drugs and the other was not, the supreme court still ruled in favor of the
school. New Jersey v. T.L.O is a stepping stone for Vernonia School District v. Acton
because of the simple fact that students do not have the full protection of their rights in
schools. Both cases reiterate that idea because if students use their rights to the fullest,
it can cause harm to staff and the student, as stated by the majority opinion for the
Vernonia School District v. Acton “Fourth Amendment rights, no less than First and
Fourteenth Amendment rights, are different in public schools than elsewhere.”
3. The Majority Opinion argues that “Fourth Amendment rights, no less than First and
Fourteenth Amendment rights, are different in public schools than elsewhere;”
meaning that the rights that students have do not always apply to a school setting.
These rights are limited for the safety of the people in the school, they use the example
of public school students required to get vaccinated to prevent a disease spreading and
state that it is “For their own good and that of their classmates.” They also argue that
there was a meeting for the parents to inform them about the drug testing that was
going to start in the school with the athletes, the only parents that disagreed were the
ones in court right now while the majority agreed with the growing problem of drugs.
However, the Minority Opinion believes that the fourth amendment is woven into our
history and “..the Framers of the Fourth Amendment most strongly opposed, with
limited exceptions wholly inapplicable here, were general searches." They also argued
that students are being constantly watched by either teachers or administration
everywhere they go. The last point they make is that there is no evidence regarding
drug abuse in the High School.
4. The Majority Opinion most definitely had the stronger argument. The Minority
Opinion was extremely weak and the points that they try to make were not convincing
enough. I agree with the Majority Opinion of allowing drug testing in schools because
of how important it is to ensure the safety of students. Drugs in school are detrimental
to not only students but to everybody in the school, it affects the learning environment
and affects the image of the school. The MO perfectly describes it as "The effects of a
drug-infested school are visited not just upon the users, but upon the entire student
body and faculty, as the educational process is disrupted." This problem has become
worldwide and it is understanding as to why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the