Thanks to the continuing popularity of police procedural TV shows, many young people know that the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects them from unreasonable searches by police. So students often assume they have the same rights when teachers or principals want to look through their backpacks or phones. It’s true that the Fourth Amendment applies in the context of public schools, but students’ privacy rights are more limited than if they were adults dealing with law enforcement. Read below for more information about how search-and-seizure law works at school.
- When can schools search students and their belongings?
- What is "reasonable suspicion" for searching students at school?
- How do search-and-seizure rules apply to students’ phones and other electronic devices?
- Can my school force me to take a drug test?
- When can a school strip search or pat down students?
- Can schools search students’ lockers without suspecting them of wrongdoing?