Backpack Search

Can School Officials search an Unattended Backpack?

As you may know from the T.L.O. v. New Jersey decision, the Fourth Amendment applies to students in public schools, but the standard for a search–reasonable suspicion–is lower than searches by police in public or into one’s home.

This case occurred in Ohio and the state Supreme Court has shaped search and seizure law around this dispute.  Read the accompanying article and answer the questions below.



1. What were some relevant facts in the story?

2. What was the State Supreme Court’s ruling and how did it affect searches of backpacks.

3. How did this Court balance liberty versus order, and do you agree with the decision? Why or why not?


Photo/Image: by Pen Ash