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School Safety and the Legal Rights of Students, Constitutionally Speaking
ERIC offers a digest which reviews recent Fourth Amendment decisions concerning the rights of students and the parameters of schools' authority to maintain a crime-free environment.
ERIC Identifier: ED414345
Publication Date: 1997-05-00
Author: Beyer, Dorianne
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education New York NY.
School Safety and the Legal Rights of Students
ERIC/CUE Digest, Number 121.

In ensuring school safety, the courts have sought to balance students' constitutional rights with the need for safety and freedom from violence in the schools. At present, the balance is thoroughly tilted towards efforts to effect tough safety and drug policies in the schools and against any extension of the current scant constitutional rights students enjoy. As the preoccupation with drugs and gang paraphernalia in the schoolhouse has escalated, school searches of students and seizures of their property in accord with the Fourth Amendment comprise a cutting edge issue for the courts and school authorities.

This digest presents a brief review of recent Fourth Amendment decisions that affect the rights of students (see below) and the parameters of schools' authority to maintain a crime-free environment. It is important to state, however, that education is almost exclusively a matter of state and local laws, regulations, and policies. It rarely involves the Federal government or Federal powers, except for the Federal courts' interpretations of constitutional protections in the school setting. Thus, although the Federal decisions illustrated below apply nationwide, and do serve to mark the boundaries of permissible state and local action, they are no substitute for an understanding of the many legal issues that are primarily a function of state and local laws. State and local school authorities must check the laws, regulations, legal precedents, and policies of their own jurisdiction to ascertain the lawful limits of their own actions, rather than rely upon the examples cited here.

Over several decades, in a series of cases involving public school students, the U.S. Supreme Court and state courts have very gingerly both bestowed and limited Fourth Amendment rights. These cases suggest that the delicate balance between students, rights and school safety procedures is strongly tilting towards the rights of school authorities to proactively isolate and reduce perceived causes of school violence. Starting in 1968 and culminating in 1984, the law of the land concerning the status of students vis-a-vis school authorities shifted to a more constitutional basis. Prior to that time, student-school rights were defined by the common law doctrine of "in loco parentis, which for centuries posited that school officials had the "right, duty, and responsibility to act in the place of a parent. Their right to act included the exercise of many parental powers, such as the right to search students for illegal items, or for those items merely considered as contraband under state or local law or school district policies, without the warrant or probable cause mandated for all other citizens under the Fourth Amendment.

The doctrine of in loco parentis began crumbling in 1968, when Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969) found for the first time that constitutional rights--in this case, the First Amendment right to wear a black armband in school as symbolic speech in protest against the Vietnam War--were applicable to students. In landmark language that has been repeatedly cited, if not always upheld, the court said, "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate" (pp. 506, 511).

Tinker left unanswered the question of whether Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures applied to students when searched by school authorities, and if so, with what restrictions, if any. It was not resolved until 1985, in New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985). In that case, an assistant vice principal opened and searched the purse of T.L.O. (as the student involved was identified to protect her identity), after she had been accused of violating the school's policy of smoking a cigarette on high school property. His search disclosed not only a pack of cigarettes but also rolling papers associated with marijuana use, marijuana, a pipe, plastic bags, a large sum of money, a list of students who owed T.L.O. money, and two letters that involved her in dealing marijuana. When she was arrested on drug charges, she claimed that the evidence found in her purse should be suppressed as the fruits of an unreasonable search and seizure.

The court decided in (the case of) T.L.O. that students subjected to school searches are, in fact, citizens covered by the Fourth Amendment. Also, for the first time, the court considered school officials, when acting in furtherance of publicly mandated educational and disciplinary policies, far more akin to government agents--the very subject of Fourth Amendment restrictions--than to parental surrogates who, under the doctrine of in loco parentis, were free from constitutional restraints.

The final question considered by the court was whether the search was reasonable, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. The Amendment requires a warrant and probable cause before a search is considered reasonable, although there are several exceptions to the imposition of that formulaic and high standard. The T.L.O. court carved out another such exception to the usual standard; it found that the Fourth Amendment's requirement of reasonableness was met if school authorities acted without a warrant, but with "reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. Such a search will be permissible in its scope when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and are not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction" (p. 733). Thus the "reasonable suspicion" standard was definitively asserted. It permitted school authorities to lawfully search students upon meeting its two-pronged test: the search must be (1) reasonable in inception, and (2) reasonable in scope.

Some recent search cases in which the two-pronged "reasonableness test" was successfully applied include these:

*A school dance monitor, who, upon seeing that some students were inebriated, in contravention of school policy, took them to a private office and asked them to blow on her face (Martinez v. School District No. 60, 1992).

*Upon hearing an unusual thud when a student threw his bag onto a metal cabinet, a security guard rubbed his hand along the bag to feel for a gun (Matter of Gregory M., 1992/1993).

*Upon a student's report to a guidance counselor that another student possessed an illicit drug, the administrator searched the latter student's book bag, because the administrator also had knowledge that the student had been previously disciplined for possession of a controlled substance (State v. Moore, 1992).

The case law on student search and seizure has yielded a few other useful factors to consider when conducting a search to ensure that it is reasonable at the inception and in scope. They include the student's age, history, and school record; the seriousness and pervasiveness as a school problem of the suspected infraction or crime; the urgency that required the search without delay; the school official's prior experience with the student; and the evidentiary value and reliability of the information used to justify the search (Rapp, 1994).

What cannot and will not be condoned by the courts are searches that are performed with malicious intent to deprive students of their rights, those where school officials know or should have known that their actions violated students' rights, those that are capricious or discriminatory, and those that do not closely follow school search policies.

The T.L.O. [case] rule and its progeny have been applied to the rights of school authorities to engage in the following acts:

*Search students' school lockers to look for contraband or illegal materials (Student searches and the law, 1995; S.C. v. State, 1991).

*Search a student's car in the school parking lot (State v. Slattery, 1990; Student searches and the law, 1995).

*Organize searches by drug-sniffing dogs (Doe v. Renfrow, 1980; Horton v. Goose Creek Independent School District, 1982; Jennings v. Joshua Independent School District, 1989; Jones v. Latexo Independent School District, 1980) or metal detector machines (People v. Dukes, 1992; National Treasury Employers Union v. Van Raab, 1989).

*Perform a visual or manual body cavity search (Student searches and the law, 1995).
As contentious as Fourth Amendment issues have been, the lessons of the T.L.O. case were not substantially reviewed until the courts assessed the issue of mandatory and voluntary drug testing. Until 1995, the short answer to the question of whether schools could mandate all or a class of students to submit to blood or urine tests for drugs could be clearly answered: "no" (Price, 1988). Such testing was seen as a violation of students' reasonable expectation of privacy (Jones v. McKenzie, 1986), and repugnant not only to the U.S. Constitution, but also to the nation's common sense of students' integrity (Anable v. Ford, 1985; Odenheim v. Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional School District, 1985). The courts did, however, make a distinction between mandatory and voluntary drug testing, with the latter subject to no Fourth Amendment protections, as it is based upon consent.

That distinction blurs, though, when the tests are used as a precondition for school enrollment or for participation in extracurricular activities. Until June 27, 1995, the courts were split on drug testing as a precondition for participating in extracurricular activities, with some courts approving it exactly because these activities are voluntary (Student Searches and the Law, 1995). Then came Acton v. Vernonia School District 47J (1991), which involved a high school student, James Acton, who wanted to be on his school's football team. His parents refused to sign a form consenting to a urinalysis that would test their son for a variety of drugs, if James were randomly selected by school authorities to comply with the school's newly instituted mandatory, random drug testing program. There was no claim that James was suspected of drug use, but school authorities asserted that their random urinalysis drug testing policy was the result of their being at their "wits' end" over how to solve a perceived growing drug problem (Daniels, 1995). James Acton, as a consequence of his parents' refusal to consent to such a test, was denied a spot on the football team. In courtroom after courtroom, ending at the U.S. Supreme Court, school officials pressed their claim that they were justified in implementing their random testing program in order to stop the rowdy, anti-authoritarian behavior of their athletic teams that resulted from increased drug use in their rural Oregon school. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Actons, found the mandatory policy an "unreasonable search," and rousingly stated that "children, students, do not have to surrender their right to privacy in order to secure their right to participate in athletics."

The U.S. Supreme Court did not agree, and once again tipped the scale in favor of educators' efforts to maintain perceived school order and discipline and against the preservation of an individual student's rights to privacy as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment (Vernonia School District 47J v. Action, 1995). In this final appeal of the Vernonia case, the Court, in a 6-3 ruling, reversed the lower courts and found that the district's policy conformed with the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. It ruled that although the urine test was a "search" it was a "reasonable" one because legitimate governmental interests outweighed any intrusion on a student's privacy rights. The Court found that athletes have an even further reduced expectation of privacy than other students, as they are more closely regulated in many areas, such as grades and medical condition, and they participate in communal undressing and showering, further obviating any claim of physical privacy. In addition, the Court found that the urine test procedure was negligibly intrusive, even though students had to divulge the prescription drugs they were taking at the time, since the process was akin to public restroom conditions and the test was being used only to determine illicit drug use rather than to identify any medical situation. In an outright reversal of any previous rationales, the Court emphasized that a random drug testing policy was better than suspicion-based testing because the latter would turn the process into a badge of shame and would also permit teachers to arbitrarily test "troublesome but not drug-likely students."
The citation of Vernonia has served as the precedent for several constitutional decisions on the Federal district court or circuit court of appeals levels during the few years since its issuance. Stigile v. Clinton (1996) found a strong governmental interest in permitting random drug testing of high school athletes, when such testing is "undertaken in furtherance of the government's responsibilities, under a public school system, as guardian and tutor of children, entrusted to its care."

Thompson v. Carthage School District (1996) permitted the generalized search of all males in the sixth through twelfth grades in an Arkansas school district that required them to empty their pockets and to submit to a "pat-down" for weapons by school authorities. The Thompson court applied T.L.O.'s two-pronged "reasonable test" and then applied the lessons of Vernonia. It found that Vernonia--which established that random drug testing in the absence of individualized suspicion, was "reasonable," and that even the significant privacy invasion of a urinalysis was justified by the important government interest, as students' "reasonable guardian and tutor" in reducing drug abuse by student athletes--could buttress the court's rationale in permitting the invasive "pat-down" and emptying of pockets.

In Wallace by Wallace v. Batavia School District (1995), the court cited Vernonia when it permitted as a reasonable seizure a teacher's grabbing a high school student's wrists and elbow and escorting her out of the classroom, after observing the student participate in a screaming match with another student and then threaten that student with physical violence. The finding of "reasonableness" was based upon Vernonia's dictum that the nature of students' "rights is what is appropriate for children in school."

Cheema v. Thompson (1995) extended the previously abandoned legal theory of schools' functioning in loco parentis. The court noted that Vernonia held that for many purposes "school authorities act in loco parentis" when it decided, on other grounds, that Sikh students in California cannot be forced to utterly abandon their possession of religiously mandated ceremonial knives or cease attending public elementary school. After Cheema, it could be posited that there are still legal grounds to argue that school authorities are endowed with parental rights when assuring students' safety and drug-free status, and that students' constitutional protections are subservient to those parental rights.
With respect to students' rights in school, the current direction of Fourth Amendment law reflects society's fears of and disrespect for children and the paucity of alternatives to police-type enforcement measures that are both in use and under consideration in the schools. It also indicates that school authorities no longer have to grant students the civil rights considered inalienable by the rest of the nation's citizens. Thus, the first line of defense of school administrators is to bring in more policing measures, such as car searches, metal detectors, urinalyses, and drug-sniffing dogs. The cases reported here, as well as many others not discussed, result from the shared frustration felt by administrators trying to stop the perceived violence and drugs without restraint and alternative.

There is, however, a wealth of information and experience about alternatives to such draconian school violence prevention strategies. Law-related education (LRE) is a fresh approach to reducing the causes of school violence early and continually throughout a student's education. It is a generic, interdisciplinary direction in education that combines particular kinds of content (related to rules, laws, and legal systems) with interactive instruction (McBee, 1995).

Student conflict resolution and mediation training, including student courts, represent another approach. Peer counseling has also proven effective in breaking the impasse between violent students and the school system (Sachnoff, 1988). Using trained students as helpers, friends, counselors, mediators, and educators to ease the school tensions and conflicts that result in violence is an educational and effective first line of defense against school disruptions and crime. The use of dress codes and uniforms to change a school's violent culture has also dramatically reduced crime and violence in many school districts ("Restricting Gang Clothing," 1994; Kennedy, 1995; "Long Beach Schools," 1995; "Regulating Student Appearance," 1994). Parental and other adult participation not only bolsters school anti-violence programs, but also aerates the school system and demonstrates the entire community's concern with students' education and progress. All of these initiatives provide early and ongoing education and experience in nonviolent means of violence prevention for grades K-12. In fact, the list of such innovative strategies to combat school violence is as extensive as society's creativity and commitment to empower rather than punish children.

Reliance on prevention programs is not only an issue of efficacy and morality, but is also one of international law. Children have human rights, regardless of their behavior or the school setting. The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets the basic, minimum standards for juvenile justice procedures, children's access to education, their rights to bodily integrity and mental health, and the provision of other resources to enable children to become healthy and productive adult citizens. One of the main tenets of the Convention is that children's human rights rest on a bedrock of their right to be heard, to be listened to, and to participate in the decisions and environments that affect their lives. Certainly, violence prevention training, as opposed to criminal enforcement techniques, is the course most consistent with a recognition of children's human rights. At this date, the Convention has been ratified by over 180 nations worldwide; only the United States, Somalia, and the Cooke Islands have not ratified it.
Acton v. Vernonia School District 47J, 23 F.3d 1514, 9th Cir. (1991).

Anable v. Ford, Civil Action No. 84-6033, W.D. Ark. (1985).

Cheema v. Thompson, 67F.3d 883, 9th Cir. (1995).

Daniels, L. (1995, March 29). Vernonia's day in court. The Oregonian.

Doe v. Renfrow, 632 F.2d 91, 7th Cir. (1980).

Horton v. Goose Creek Independent School District, 690 F.2d 475, 5th Cir. (1982).

Jennings v. Joshua Independent School District, 877F F.2d 313, 5th Cir. (1989).

Jones v. Latexo Independent School District, 499 F. Supp. 223, E.D. Tex. (1980).

Jones v. McKenzie, 628 F. Supp. 1500, D.D.C. (1986).

Kennedy, M. (1995, August 19). A fashion statement with real meaning. The Los Angeles Times, p. A1.

Long Beach schools favor dress codes as violence declines. (1995, August 19). Oakland Tribune, p.12.

Martinez v. School District No. 60, 852 P.2d 1275, Colo. Ct. App. (1992).

Matter of Gregory M., 184 A.D. 2d 252, N.Y. App. Div. (1992), aff'd., 82 N.Y. 2d 588 (1993).

McBee, R. H. (1995, Spring). Law-related education and violence prevention. School Safety Journal, pp. 24-28.

National Treasury Employees Union v. Van Raab, 489 U.S. 668 (1989).

New Jersey v. T.L.O., 1055 Ct . 731 (1985).

Odenheim v. Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional School District, 211 N.J. Super. 54 (1985).

People v. Dukes, 580 NY2d 850, NY Crim. Ct. (1992).

Price, J. R. (1988). The rights of students. New York: Wiley-Liss.

Rapp, J. (1994). Education law. New York: Matthew Bender.

Regulating student appearance: A new trend. (1994, March). School Safety Update, p. 6.

Restricting gang clothing in public schools. (1994, March). School Safety Journal, pp. 1-4.

Sachnoff, I. (1988, Winter). Peer counseling for troubled youth. School Safety Journal, pp. 26-27.

S.C. v. State, 583 So 2d 188, Miss. (1991).

State v. Moore, 254 N.J. Super. 295, N.J. Super., App. Div. (1992).

State v. Slattery, 56 Wash. App. 820, Wash. Ct. App. (1990).

Stigile v. Clinton, 932 F. Supp. 365, 367 Dist. Ct. D.C. (1996).

Student searches and the law. (1995). Malibu, CA: Pepperdine University, National School Safety Center.

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

Thompson V. Carthage School District, 87 F.3d 979, 8th Cir. (1996).

Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, No. 115 S. Ct. (1995).

Wallace by Wallace v. Batavia School District., 68 F.3d 1010, 1017, 7th Cir. (1995).

This digest is based on an essay, "School Violence and the Legal Rights of Students: Selected Issues," by Dorianne Beyer, published in the monograph, Preventing Youth Violence in Urban Schools: An Essay Collection.

The US Constitution

Constitutional Topic: Student Rights

The Constitutional Topics pages at the site are presented to delve deeper into topics than can be provided on the Glossary Page or in the FAQ pages. This Topic Page concerns Student Rights.

Generally speaking, the Constitution applies equally to everyone, regardless of age, color, race, religion, or any other factor. However, minors are a special category of person, and in many cases, the rights of minors can be suppressed in ways that the rights of adults simply may not be.

The most obvious reason for this is simply age. Or perhaps better stated, maturity. A four-year-old, or even a ten-year-old, cannot make, nor be expected to make, the same sorts of decisions that an adult can make. Where an adult might be perfectly free to wander the streets at night, a child seen wandering the streets at night would be taken into some sort of protective custody, even if against his will.

There are other violations of a minor's rights that on their face seem quite onerous, but for which there are many legal precedents. The most common such violations are of the rights of students. That is, of children attending school. The rights of free speech, free press, free association, and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure are points of contention between school administrators and students, and have been for decades.

In loco parentis

There are several reasons why violations of student rights are upheld by the courts. One of the most basic reasons is known as in loco parentis. This Latin phrase basically means that while a student is in the custody of a school, the school can and often should act as a parent. In this duty of the school, many decisions can be made that are outside the normal governmental purview. The other basic reason for violation of student rights has to do with the goal of school - to educate. If an act of a student can interfere with the educational process, that act may, in many cases, be suppressed.

A few things should be noted here. First, most of this essay applies only to public schools. As private institutions, private schools are not subject to any restrictions in terms of violations of the rights of students. Hence, while a public school might have to prove that its violations are for a higher purpose or stem from its in loco parentis responsibilities, a private school may set limits arbitrarily.

Second, students in public schools are not stripped of their rights completely. In Board v Barnette (319 US 624 [1943]), for example, the Supreme Court ruled that students could not be forced to salute the flag against their will. In Tinker v Des Moines (393 US 503 [1969]), the Supreme Court ruled that students wearing black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War could not be forced to remove the arm bands by school officials. As written in Tinker, "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Finally, the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of the free flow of ideas in schools: "The classroom is peculiarly the 'marketplace of ideas.' The Nation's future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas." (Keyishian v Board of Regents [385 US 589 {1967}]).

Violations of Free Speech

The Supreme Court said in Tinker that "[If] conduct by the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason - whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior - materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech." This is the hinge upon which many cases turn when a school violates a student's free speech protections.

In Bethel School v Fraser (478 US 675 [1986]), the Court ruled that a school was not violating a students rights when it suspended a student for the use of crude language in a speech to a school assembly. Said the Court: "It does not follow ... that simply because the use of an offensive form of expression may not be prohibited to adults making what the speaker considers a political point, the same latitude must be permitted to children in a public school... The determination of what manner of speech in the classroom or in school assembly is inappropriate properly rests with the school board."

Violations of Free Press

The Supreme Court has held that schools and school administrators can censor student publications such as student newspapers. The difference between the tolerance of expression, as in Tinker, and in promotion of student views, is the key. By wearing an arm band, a student is expressing his view and the school is not taking a stand, nor endorsing the student. But in a student newspaper, the school itself is represented in the newspaper, and by publishing a student piece, is now no longer a passive observer but an active participant. In Hazelwood School v Kuhlmeier (484 US 260 [1988]), the Supreme Court ruled that articles in the school paper that were counter to the educational mission of the school were subject to censorship.

Though untested in court, it is probably true that students are protected in publication of "underground" newspapers, and perhaps web pages, but the distribution of those papers or use of school computers to view web pages could be restricted.

Violations of Free Expression

Tinker was all about freedom of expression. The students in Tinker merely wore black arm bands. They did not disrupt school activities in any other way. The actions of the students are often used to distinguish the right of speech and expression for students from the rules that can govern those rights. Again the distinction hinges on the impact of the expression on the educational process.

In New Rider v Board (414 US 1097 [1973]), a pair of male Pawnee Indian students were suspended from school for wearing long hair in the tradition of their ancestors. The suspension was for violation of a school rule which forbade the wearing of hair that extended past the collar or ears. The Court refused to hear the case, but Justices Douglas and Marshall wrote a stinging dissent of the denial, "Petitioners were not wearing their hair in a desired style simply because it was the fashionable or accepted style, or because they somehow felt the need to register an inchoate discontent with the general malaise they might have perceived in our society. They were in fact attempting to broadcast a clear and specific message to their fellow students and others - their pride in being Indian." Douglas wrote another dissent in a hair-length case for Olff v East Side Union (404 US 1042 [1972]). No other cases appear to have been decided by the Court on this issue, and circuit courts have made conflicting rulings.

In Cohen v California (403 US 15 [1971]), the Court overturned a conviction of a man who wore a jacket with the words "F___ the Draft" on it. The Court ruled that the presence of a printed vulgarity cannot be sufficient cause for an arrest and 30-day imprisonment. The Court said: "[A]bsent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, make the simple public display here involved of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense." Cohen was not a student and the jacket was not displayed in a school, however. Dress codes that prohibit certain kinds of dress (like cut-off shorts or shirts with obscene or commercial messages) have not been challenged at the level of the Supreme Court, but have generally been upheld as promoting the educational process.

In 2007, in the widely-reported case of Morse v Frederick (06-278 [2007]), better known as the "Bong hits 4 Jesus" case, the court narrowly decided that student speech off campus can be suppressed by school administrators if the speech promotes illegal activity - drug use, in this case. In the case, Joseph Frederick erected a banner along a route used to transport the Olympic torch. The route was flanked by students from Frederick's high school. Principal Deborah Morse, on seeing the banner, had it removed and had Frederick suspended, on the premise that the banner ran counter to the school's anti-drug themes and policies. Drawing on both Tinker and Fraser, the Court decided that the message and its most reasonable interpretations, and not the place the message was displayed, was the deciding factor: "Student speech celebrating illegal drug use at a school event, in the presence of school administrators and teachers, thus poses a particular challenge for school officials working to protect those entrusted to their care from the dangers of drug abuse."

Violations of Search and Seizure Protections

A tactic undertaken by more and more schools of late is that of searching of student lockers, bags, and of their persons.

The most relevant case is New Jersey v TLO (469 US 325 [1985]). Here the Court recognized two things. First, it reaffirmed the role of the school in loco parentis, but it also recognized that school officials are representatives of the State. These two roles can come into conflict, but the Court said that students in public school are not able to assert the same rights as adults in other settings. Rules were established for searches, such as reasonableness, not excessively intrusive, and related to the offense that is being investigated.

In the TLO case, a search of a student's purse, the purpose for which was to find cigarettes the student was suspected of smoking on school grounds, was upheld.

Urine tests of student athletes were upheld in Vernonia School v Acton (515 US 646 [1995]), when the court again used in loco parentis, a lowered expectation of privacy for athletes, and the need for deterrence of drug use, particularly among athletes, as justifications for forced testing. Said the Court: "Fourth Amendment rights, no less than First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, are different in public schools than elsewhere; the "reasonableness" inquiry cannot disregard the schools' custodial and tutelary responsibility for children."

There have been no reviews of cases of locker searches by the Supreme Court, most likely because the locker, while possibly containing personal property of the student, is itself the property of the school.

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